Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A few things on a sleepy Tuesday morning

  • Mario Lemieux is retiring, and this time, probably for good. He's watched his franchise crumble, and I don't see him sticking around to watch the Penguins continue to fall apart. I really don't see Super Mario being a public figure much anymore, in any regard.
  • I thought the article in the most recent ESPN magazine about Cuban baseball was fascinating. How good could their players be if the country's athletic prowess hadn't been limited by Castro? And if Cuba had never had the Revolution, don't you think we would talk about Major League teams in Havana instead of Mexico City? There's a lot to think about there, even if it's just from a sports standpoint.
  • I know Kobe Bryant scored 81 points. I don't care.
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again. This TV season is one of the best for new shows in an extremely long time. How I Met Your Mother, The Office, My Name is Earl, Criminal Minds... ABC is going to have to do quite a bit to get back in my viewing life, especially now that they no longer have Monday Night Football on their network.

That's going to be it for now. Later on, dudes - Ryan

Monday, January 23, 2006

How Terry Ryan spent his winter.

I don't know if you poked around my real site lately (that would be www.geocities.com/isitsports for those that didn't yet know) read a recent post I had about baseball. In it, I complained a little bit about the lack of activity I foresaw from the Twins for the offseason. Well, the Twins did do a few things this offseason, and I thought, since we have a little break between NFL championship week and the Super Bowl, I thought we could look at those moves.

The Twins started soon after I had sent that article to Steve by acquiring Luis Castillo for a couple of minor league pitchers from the Marlins. Now, this may not seem like a ground breaking move to most, but it fulfills a need that was evident even before the Twins fell flat on their face last year. They need an everyday second baseman. Castillo also fills the need for a solid on base guy to put at the top of the order, and will eventually facilitate the trade of Shannon Stewart that Terry Ryan SHOULD make while Stewart still has good numbers, even if he is decomposing in left field as we watch. Castillo could then take over the lead off position to bat ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, both of whom should be improved next season. I thought over all that this was a great trade, harkening back to the great Chuck Knoblauch trade of the last century. Terry Ryan was back!

But then he signed his first free agent. And it was Tony Batista. Here's a guy that played in Japan last year, which is a little scary. But they pitch funny, and he bats funny, so perhaps that was the logic behind the contract being signed. In his last season in the States, two years ago, he had a mediocre batting average, but he hit 27 home runs, which no Twin did last year. This is what happens when you look only at two statistics when signing free agents. In this case, the statistics were "homeruns" and "position played", in this case, 3b. Now, Twins fans thought they needed to improve at third, but really, with Michael Cuddyer playing his second season at the hot corner next year, I really think the improvement would be more than we got signing Batista. (It should be noted that Batista did get a 5 million dollar deal in Japan, which was why he went, not because nobody in America would sign him. The Twins tried to get him then too.)

The Twins signed their third bat of the season when they picked up the oft injured Rondell White. Now, White has always been a closet favorite of mine. I've had a soft spot for former Expos my whole life. I suspect that in being the designated hitter, White's stats will drop slightly, sort of like how your golf score seems to go up when you ride a cart, but he won't get injured as severely, and will do the job at DH for the Twins this year. He has been largely unheralded, which is interesting, because a few years ago, he would have been a prized acquisition.

He left the starting rotation largely untouched, although I would love to see Brad Radke traded while he still has some value in the league. He won't be, however, because he is a 10/5 guy, and the Twins don't ever sell high. They did unload the king of the inherited runner scored, J.C. Romero for a guy who may or may not be a stripper, Alexi Casilla. To make up for their new found lack of a bullpen lefty, the Twins have brought Dennys Reyes and Gabe White on to duke it out in Spring Training. The thought that one of those two being on the Twins roster is slightly more reassuring than seeing J.C. on the roster again next season.

Next season, which I will get into in a couple months at IIS, I suspect the Twins lineup will look something like this.
LF Stewart
2b Castillo
C Mauer
DH White
1b Morneau
CF Torii Hunter, who may or may not end the season with the team. The departure of Jacque Jones seems to have made him incredibly agitated. I suspect to see him in the Eastern Time Zone next season.
3b Batista
RF Lew "Why couldn't you have been traded last off season?" Ford
SS Jason Bartlett, who I have pretty high hopes for in the future. We got him for the immortal Brian Buchanan a few years back. I'm hoping Casilla turns out like Bartlett.

As hopeful as I sound, I know that the Twins just picked up some aging vets, and really, they are just watching the Indians and White Sox pick up steam. They will definitely be in a two team race, however, but with the Tigers for third place in the AL Central. - Ryan

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Is It a Blog?: Quick Hits #5

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?," its our 2nd real mailbag, posted in the Is It a Blog conversation format

E-mail from Maria F, Cincinnati, OH:
This is my rant about the general category of interceptions. I think it is unfair to the quarterback for all interceptions to be so labeled as "their fault". For example, most of Drew Brees' interceptions were not direct "passes" to the defense. They were catchable balls that the receiver did not catch. Rather than the stats reflecting this on the receiver, it goes against the QB. Now I don't know anything about baseball, but Jesse says there is some way to differentiate errors. Likewise, I think that football (the NFL especially) should institute some sort of differentiation. There should be two categories of interceptions - QB error and non-QB error. I am all for Brandon Kirsch getting the tick marks when he passes right to Northwestern, but not when some butterfingered receiver lets the ball slip through his fingers into a defender's hands. What do you guys think?

Steve: I think Maria makes a pretty good point and I think it would definitely be an interesting stat to track
Steve: the one problem I have with it not counting against the QB is that he is still the one that throws the pass, and maybe if he had thrown it at a different speed or to a different location the reciever would have caught it
Ryan: The point about baseball, she means E-6 for an error for the shortstop, etc. makes me think that baseball isnt the only sport that assigns blame statistically, like soccer keeping track of own goals, or basketball keeping track of fouls
Ryan: The NFL does keep track of dropped passes though, so if a throw is counted as a drop, and it's intercepted, I guess that would be a convenient way to adjust interception statistics
Steve: yeah that's a good point
Steve: I think it definitely could be something that could be talked about on TV to defend a QB/bash a receiving crew
Steve: maybe they could even rate interceptions in some way based on the situation they happened in
Ryan: I think Matt Hasselbeck would have been helped a lot by that last year... I think on the same note, you could introduce an "accuracy" rating along with the completion percentage, combining drops and completions versus total passes
Steve: like a ball thrown right to a guy or one in the clutch could be more hurtful to the stats, but maybe a receiver tip or a hail mary at the end of a half wouldn't be too bad
Ryan: yeah
Ryan: statisticians would love that
Steve: yeah the one thing that really surprises me about football is there aren't more stats like that
Steve: baseball can have stats about the craziest stuff you'd ever imagine and they get talked about like they mean something, but in football you could have stats like this to better describe a team's situation but they aren't kept
Ryan: well, in baseball, there is a lot more cut and dry fact, where as, what is and is not a drop? what is and is not clutch? Football has a lot more gray area
Steve: yeah it does
Steve: and maybe the fact its much more of a team sport hurts the validity of any individual stat
Ryan: I think that's what it all comes down to
Steve: like in baseball home runs are the hitter's doing, but in football, rushing yards aren't a RB's doing completely because they need the line to accomplish anything
Ryan: exactly. I think, we can both agree that interceptions will probably remain categorized as they are because football, in general, is a very difficult sport to quantify with any validity
Steve: yeah
Steve: you can even factor in that teams pass more than others, so the offensive strategy can effect the totals too
Ryan: So, basically, we just pointed out that Dan Dierdorf may actually play an important role in today's game
Steve: how is that?
Ryan: as a color commentator... you cant just rely on stats, you have to UNDERSTAND the game, the flow, the way things go, etc.
Steve: definitely
Steve: its not a stat geek sport, and that's why football fans always win the bar fights over baseball fans

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We’ll Get ‘em Next Year (Maybe Not)

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" by Ryan. By reading the opening comment that I wrote, you can pretty much see why this site exists now and the old Is It Sports site does not. Fear not, the World Series post was written, just never posted on the old site. I'll post it on the Times, as a special "lost" post!

Quick Note from Steve: Ryan wrote this way back in November (which explains the Konerko on the Angels comment), but for some reason, I never posted it....part of it was because I've been pretty busy, another because I wanted to have this post with my World Series post back to back (which still hasn't been written). But now since the shear shock of it has sunk in and I'm about to watch both my Sox DVDs and have my Bang for the Buck stats ready to go, why not have 3 consecutive baseball posts during the 2 weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl? This site really isn't that hard to update....I'm just lazy but my goal for this site for 2006 is to keep this up to date more often, and the Quote of the Week and blog will help.

Baseball season is over, the White Sox are the world Champions. I feel that it is my duty to provide a non-Sox fan recap of the season. In this post, I’ll look at how Steve, Kevin and I predicted the outcome of the year. Then I’ll go ahead and give the Sox some credit, and I’ll end by digging a little deeper into the Twins season. Sound like a deal? All right, let’s roll.

So, something amazing happened with the season. All three of us, using the scoring system laid out in the Junk #4, tied. Kevin made up a lot of ground by doing well in the American League East, merely a flip flop of the Orioles and Blue Jays keeping him from a perfect prediction. Steve did the best in the playoffs, having been the only person to correctly pick someone in either of the League Championship Series (St. Louis). I was the most consistent across the board. Kevin and Steve correctly picked 5 of the 6 division winners correctly, while I picked four division winners, and the wild card in the American League.

AL East

AL Central

AL West

NL East

NL Central

NL West






























Something those statistics don’t show is exactly what happened. For example, my pick of Cleveland making the leap this year saved me in the AL Central, where I had foolishly picked the Twins in first and the White Sox in fourth. Kevin, naturally, and as he should have, picked the NL West together, but if we look at his picks qualitatively, we see that his picks are just as laughable now as they were then. Neither Arizona or Seattle sniffed the playoffs. As for me, the eventual champion, the Sox, were fourth, as I said, in my picks. All that being said, I would have to allege that Steve had the best overall picks this season.

And speaking of those Sox, I do have to give them credit. Aside from Steve’s love for the White Sox and Kevin’s not seeing anything else in the Central, at the beginning of the season, what could anyone have seen that would have led them to believe the Sox would be this good? Really, I don’t think Steve could have foreseen a season like this in his wildest dreams. My biggest issue was the same that many had. Their rotation featured El Duque, Jose Contreras and Jon Garland, three guys who, before this season, wouldn’t have instilled fear in a T-Ball team. And Ozzie Guillen who had never managed before, was a wild card. Who knew a goofball like him could be such a brilliant leader? Surely not I.

As I wrote about back in March, the Sox were following the Twins plan for manufacturing runs. They sacrificed two big bats, in Ordonez and Carlos Lee, and added to speedsters at the beginning of the lineup in Scott Podsednik and Tadahiro Iguchi, as well as a veteran, reliable bat in Jermaine Dye. In the end, they did, in fact follow the Twins successful speed and defense model, except they were faster and better at defense. Not only that, the White Sox had something the Twins haven’t had since the mid-80’s: big bats. Without Lee and Ordonez, they still had Paul Konerko and Carl Everett, not to mention Joe Crede who finally started to break out this year. No word yet on Aaron Rowand. Pulling all this together was my newfound nemesis, A.J. Pierzynski. And while I used to have a someone tense rivalry feeling with the Sox, I can now say, without a doubt, I hate the Chicago White Sox with every fiber of my being.

What I don’t understand though, is why the Indians are already the trendy pick to win the Central next year. Sure, Konerko will be batting third ahead of Vlad Guerrero next year, but Kenny Williams won’t be afraid to replace him with another good hitting first baseman. They will still have the rotation. They will still have every other piece. And they will have experience. Maybe Cleveland will get the Wild Card, but I still think the White Sox are a solid pick for the division pennant next year. No matter, though. I hate the Indians too.

Speaking of hating something, let me talk a little bit about the Twins, particularly their owner. Carl Pohlad, one of the 250 wealthiest people on the entire planet, can’t afford to pay someone who can hit more than 25 homeruns? Bull! Now, the Twins have had a rough season and can stand to improve at pretty much every position. Jacque Jones and Matt LeCroy are free agents, and I fully expect neither to resign with the Twins. They will be “replaced” by people from the farm system, when the truth is, they need to be truly replaced by a reliable veteran bat, something we didn’t have last year. If there was a Jermaine Dye clone, the Twins would be the team that would need to sign him.

Instead, however the Twins are looking to deal Torii Hunter, the team’s only marketable star, for spare parts, probably from the Yankees. The team has plenty of spare cash, and Carl Pohlad, on the cusp of death anyways, could make sure his reputation doesn’t stay stuck on “miser” by signing someone who can hit this offseason, but that won’t happen, because Pohlad doesn’t care. What WILL happen is the Twins will begin a downward spiral. The biggest signing they will make is for someone like B.J. Surhoff or Craig Paquette, if either are still in the League. Hunter will be traded to the Yankees for two swizzle sticks, a Parcheesi piece and Joe Girardi. Brad Radke will be traded to a contender at the break, and the Twins will be in fourth next year.

I need a new favorite baseball team, because this one makes me cry. - Ryan

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Monday, January 16, 2006

This one's dedicated to Bobby Humphrey and Steve Largent

So we're down to 4 teams. I couldn't be more unhappy about this, not because it means the football season is winding down, but because the four teams couldn't be less inspiring. Do the Broncos or Steelers really need to go to another Super Bowl? Why do we have to watch Jake Delhomme or Matt Hasselbeck in a big time game? Yes, read that again. Either Hasselbeck will be in the Super Bowl or Jake Delhomme will be in his SECOND Super Bowl. Facing either Jake Plummer or a guy with 14 letters in his last name. And after two close Super Bowls, we're due for a blow out.

Let's forget that for a moment. Let's try to figure out who will get to the big game. First, from the NFC. Last week, the Seahawks showed some resolve in toughing out the Redskins. Shaun Alexander went down, then Darrell Jackson went down, but the Hawks still pulled it out. It's something I can't remember them ever showing in the past. In addition, Matt Hasselbeck is now officially playoff hardened, and Mike Holmgren has his cocky swagger back. They are going to take on the Panthers who are coming off a game in which they let the Bears score 21 points. The Bears couldn't score 21 points if they were playing the Pitt Panthers, so the vaunted Carolina defense is yet to earn my respect. Additionally, Jake Delhomme, or, as I like to call him, Trent Dilfer part two, is still running the offense. Shaun Alexander, healthy or not, will run all over the Panthers, and the 'Hawks will be playing in Detroit in February.

Now, I think that every time the playoffs roll around, a team just catches on with Lady Luck and she carries them to the promised land. This year, there is no doubt in my mind that that team is the Broncos. Sure, the Steelers beat the Colts, but that was through sheer grit, determination, and a little bit of sluggishness on the Colts' part. Holding an offense like that of the Colts to 3 points isn't lucky; it's good. Now, getting an iffy pass interference call go your way, and having a kicker force a fumble? That's lucky, and that's where the Broncos/Patriots game turned this year. I think the Broncos will defeat the Steelers and take on the Seahawks in Detroit, in February.

So how depressing does that sound? The Broncos and the Seahawks, in Detroit, in February. Be still my heart.

But wait, there is a lot of potential there, if you get by the fact that this going to be a terrible game. Remember when these guys used to play each other twice a year? Remember John Elway in the Kingdome? It happened, don't block it out of your memory. I think that seeing these two teams on the field playing each other will play out kind of like how a meeting at a 5 year high school reunion goes between two former acquaintances who were never close, but still felt the need to reminisce. Allow me to demonstrate, using Bill and Ted as our former high schoolers and Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan at media day.

Bill: So, you still dating that Jessica chick?
Ted: No man, but she was pretty awesome. [wistful] Still miss her, but I guess she moved on in life. Now I'm with this new girl. We're doing all right. What about you, you know what's up with Rebecca?
Bill: Haha! She's probably in jail! Yeah, I'm with this new girl, Sandra, she's awesome. I might propose to her.
[uncomfortable silence]
So, I'm living in a new house.
Ted {lying}: Too bad, we had some great parties at the old place....

Now, at media day.
Holmgren: So, you still got that Elway guy?
Shanahan: No, man, but he was pretty awesome. [wistful] Still miss him, but I guess he moved on in life. I've got a new quarterback, we're doing all right. What about you, you know what's up with Ricky Watters?
Holmgren: Haha! He's probably in jail! Yeah, I've got this new back, Shaun, he's awesome. I might get him a long term deal.
[uncomfortable silence]
So, we've got a new stadium.
Shanahan {lying}: Too bad, we had some great games in the Kingdome...

So there you have it, the most awkward Super Bowl of all time. I think if it happens, the Seahawks should wear those old blue uniforms while the Broncos break out the orange. We could have Dave Krieg fumble the coin toss, only to have Steve Atwater jump on it. Yeah... That would be awesome.

Ok, now I'm ready for the Super Bowl.

Is It a Blog?: Quick Hits #4

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" Ryan and I discuss minor league hockey...

Ryan: stupid stars
Steve: but they provide light and heat
Ryan: Yeah... not the celestial bodies or hollywood big shots... th Dallas Stars
Ryan: particularly Johan Hedberg
Steve: I spent new years in the home city of their AHL affiliate
Ryan: how exciting
Steve: http://www.iowastarshockey.com/
Steve: their rival is the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights
Ryan: the... ak-sar-ben?
Steve: yeah
Steve: I went to their site just now to figure it out
Steve: they were founded by a community group in Omaha in in the 1930s called the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben
Steve: Ak-Sar-Ben is Nebraska backwards
Ryan: how did we NOT notice that
Steve: I don't know
Steve: I went to a sorta AHL game once when it was the IHL
Ryan: awesome
Steve: Chicago Wolves vs. Peoria Rivermen
Steve: looks like they're both in the AHL now
Ryan: Kid I went to HS with plays for the Rivermen
Ryan: Blues farm team
Steve: this was like in 1994 or something probably
Steve: I remember the Wolves won and it was their first ever shutout win
Steve: I think it was their first season
Steve: and I remember when the Manitoba Moose was the Minnesota Moose
Ryan: yep
Ryan: they also had the fightin' pike
Steve: yeah the AFL team
Steve: awesome name
Steve: still not as good as the Miami Hooters but close
Ryan: oh yeah.. afl
Steve: the Wolves don't have an affiliation listed on their site
Steve: I think its the Thrashers
Ryan: it is
Steve: makes perfect sense of course
Steve: so the Wild have the Houston Aeros
Steve: the Lowell Lock Monsters are the Avalanche and the Hurricanes
Ryan: hockey is just so fun

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The NHL Hot Stove is Always on

Originally posted on "Is It Sports?" by Ryan, shortly after he started up the Victoria Times.

Joe Thornton was recently traded from the Boston Bruins to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. That’s one of the top 5 players in the league being traded from one underachieving team to another for three pretty good players in their own right. Why? The teams were slumping. They needed to shake things up. Does this make sense in any other sport? The White Sox are slumping! Trade Konerko! Send him to the Pirates! Bring in Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Rob Mackowiak!

Add this to the smattering of minor trades, like Brad Ference being shipped from Phoenix to New Jersey and a bigger trade like Russian heartthrob, the former Mr. Kournikova Sergei Fedorov being shipped off to the hockey Mecca that is Columbus, well, we reach the obvious conclusion that hockey GMs obviously don’t care what people think. Either that or their experience with hockey has rendered them stupid. Nevertheless, I did some poking around and thought up ten trades that would make sense. This is a little more fun, because any of these trades could have already happened since you started reading this. My only rule? Only two team deals, because adding a third party would indicate more thought than the GMs generally put into these things.

Steve Rucchin, Dominic Moore and Marcel Hossa (NYR) for Jere Lehtinin and Johan Hedberg (DAL): Eventually, the Rangers are going to have to figure out the relying solely on Jaromir Jagr can lead only to bad things. They have depth at defense and center, and they are short a big time player on the wing, and with Kevin Weekes shaky at times and injured at others, insurance in the net wouldn’t be a bad idea. So Rucchin whom the Stars have long coveted and Dominic Moore and Marcel Hossa added as young talent for the Stars to pair with Niko Kapanen and the Rangers get a flashy winger to play a line that doesn’t have the names Straka or Jagr involved, and Hedberg can play net. Not a bad deal.

Keith Tkachuk (STL) for Branko Radivojevic and Mike Richards (PHI): The Flyers’ roster is short a wing or two, otherwise it has what it needs to be a championship team. The drop off from first line (Simon Gagne) to second line (Donald Brashear) at left wing is so dramatic as to give one a head rush. The Blues, which have roughly 720 wingers on their roster, and a desperate need to offload the troublesome Tkachuk and continue to rebuild are a perfect fit, as long as the young defenseman and center are part of the package.

Dainius Zubrus (WAS) for Matt Ellison (CHI): The ‘Hawks are playing mediocre hockey in a fairly weak division. They lack a dynamic goal scorer, and in a market such as Chicago, that could be their undoing. As long as they are patient with Rene Borque and Pavel Vorobiev, they will be ok in the long run, but as it is they need a little kick in the pants, and the fans need assurances that the ownership is trying. Although they have a delicate balance of players that they don’t want to tinker with too much, they can afford to add a decent role player like Zubrus to shake things up.

Mark Parrish (NYI) for Jason Williams (DET): The Red Wings are missing out on another good RW, and that’s what Mark Parrish would provide. He’s lower in skill than Miroslav Satan, but lower in price as well, which is good news for the Wings who need to keep an eye on the salary cap. Jason Williams, a talented young center is going unused in Detroit, and talent happens to be in short demand on the Island. Williams needs a chance to find himself as a hockey player, and New York may be the place to do so.

Olli Jokinen (FLA) for Nick Schultz, Willie Mitchell, and Kyle Wanvig (MIN): The Panthers are awful. They need to get what they can for this team. It appears Kristian Huselius is already on his way to Minnesota through waivers, since he has never been a Mike Keenan favorite. Now the Panthers need to go to Minnesota and get something in return. Schultz and Wanvig, a D and a wing, both sought after prospects who are struggling to break through would get a lot of ice time with the Panthers. Willie Mitchell is a veteran going through a rough patch and might do well in South Florida. For the Wild, they seek to remain competitive in the Northwest division, and are stuck at .500. The next step is another pure goal scorer to pair with Marian Gaborik. Brian Rolston has proven he can play one of the other forward positions if Joikinen struggles with a transition to a wing. The Wild are a team in desperate need of some energy to spark a hot streak, and they have plenty of cap room, so this trade would make total sense.

Sergei Brylin, Scott Gomez and Jay Pandolfo (NJD) for Jonathan Cheechoo, Alyn McAuley, Nils Ekman and Christian Ehrhoff (SJ): About once a year, Lou Lamoriello totally refigures his team, adds young talent and exports some guys you never thought would leave New Jersey. San Jose about twice a year does the same. Needless to say, both are due. I have no doubt in my mind that Lamoriello could sucker the Sharks into taking on some older guys like Brylin and Pandolfo as well as current doghouse resident Gomez in exchange for young, ready to breakout talent like you have in Cheechoo Ehrhoff and Ekman. As for McAuley, he just seems to find his way into the “transactions” wire about twice a month, but nobody can turn down a smooth skating centerman.

Chris Drury (BUF) for Marek Zidlicky and Mark Eaton (NAS): The Sabres remind me of the 2001 Twins, in that they are almost ready to make the jump, but they have a fairly glaring hole. For the Twins, it was pitching. For the Sabres, its defense. The Twins solution was to give up a star player to help remedy their problem, which they did when they sent Matt Lawton to the Mets for Rick Reed. Now the Sabres are at the point where they need to do the same. Giving up one of their top centers for a pair defensemen, both who eat up ice time, and one, Zidlicky, provides some potential for scoring. The Predators are also looking for that extra edge in their fight against the Red Wings for control of the Central Division, and another scoring forward would definitely help them in that regard.
Brian Smolinski, Draft pick (OTT) for Ruslan Fedotenko (TB): The Senators recently got bad news that their skilled wingman Martin Havlat will have surgery and be lost for the season, so they should be in the market for another skilled scorer. The Lightning could use an older, wiser forward to work with top flight scorers Martin St. Louis and Fredrik Modin. This would give the Lightning more scoring lines, as Vinny Lecavalier tends to dominate whatever line he is on. Brad Richards also has the ability to move to a wing, should that be necessary. Smolinski is too low an asking price for the younger, skillful Fedotenko, so a pick would need to be thrown in.

Teemu Selanne, Petr Sykora, Scott Niedermeyer (ANH) for Raffi Torres, Ales Hemsky and picks (EDM): This is a trade that would never happen, but makes total sense. The Oilers need to realize that they are now in a dogfight in the battle of Alberta. Both Calgary and Edmonton are now afforded the means to remain competitive, and right now, Calgary is winning the battle. A few new veterans could certainly spice things up for Edmonton. The Ducks, who would never make this trade either, have a severe age problem. Torres and Hemsky are very talented youngsters that could help the Ducks immediately. The picks would be a bonus. But the reason this trade wouldn’t work is the names. In Hollywood, you need to stick to you’re A-list names, and rebuilding is a 4 letter word.

As I started writing this, a couple players mentioned have already been traded, namely Kristian Huselius (to the Flames) and Matt Ellison (to the Flyers) So there you see it, hockey GMs just never quit. - Ryan

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Thursday, January 12, 2006


Hi. My name is Ryan. This is my blog. Why don't I tell you all a little about myself? I have a degree in meteorology, but I haven't got a job that uses my degree quite yet. I have another site you should probably check out, it's called Is It Sports? and can be found at www.geocities.com/isitsports. I worked on that with my buddy Steve, but the jerk had to go out and get successful with a high paying job and a social life, which put me in a bind. You see, Steve was the only one who knew how to do anything with HTML, so I would write, but he wouldn't be able to spend as much time as he would have liked on the site, so my posts were left unposted for too several days, then weeks, then one time, for a month or two. I still love working on that site, and it's not a stupid blog, so it isn't going anywhere. The Times will just be updated more frequently, but Is It Sports? will be more in depth and much prettier.
Ah. You're still lingering on that bit about the "stupid blog" aren't you. Well, I do think blogs are stupid. Not the concept, but the way they are over hyped and misrepresented. I hate how trendy they have become. What I wanted, initially, my dream, as it were, was to write as a supplemental income. I wanted a site where I could sell ads. Oh well, I guess I'll stick with a blog.
Anyways... What to expect. If I were you, I would expect a post a couple of times a month, maybe more, hopefully not less. What I am going for is a 3/4 sports related content with 1/4 assorted, be it entertainment or other current events type stuff. Maybe I'll have an awesome story to tell you. Who knows. I'll try to keep the politics to a minimum, if any, it will be extremely local. After all, this is the Victoria Times and not the Washington Post.
Well, I hope you like the site, especially after I get a few more updates going on around here. Be back sometime with my first real post.