July 28, 2008

A weekend’s worth of moves

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Basketball, Football

A lot of things happened in the sporting world this weekend while we, the public were relaxing in July weather. Some were interesting, some weren’t so much and at least one was potentially embarrassing and idiotic. Let’s start with that last one…

The NBA has filed copyrighting documents to register six potential names for the new Oklahoma City franchise nee the Seattle SuperSonics. What were these six names you ask? My friend, you may regret asking that question. The Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind are apparently the six choices for the team’s name. This might have to be the worst group of names I’ve ever heard and are ridiculously laughable. First of all, I am extremely against team names that don’t end in a S. Secondly, how could an entire city worth of people be this uncreative? I mean, only Marshalls wasn’t thought up through a local newspaper’s contest.

Breaking down all the names, the Marshalls may be the best choice of the six. Energy and Wind are immediately out of the question — they sound idiotic — the Thunder sounds like an Arena Football League team and the Barons and Bison are both sub-par. If anything, why not a choice like the Tornadoes? Bandits? Even the Renegades (I know there was a CFL team named that but who cares?) would be better choices if not cliched. Whatever the final choice is, we all know it will be paltry in comparison to the Seattle Sonics.

It’s still Sasha time in Los Angeles. The Lakers may have overpaid to keep their smooth shooting, defensively frustrating guard, but who else could they have gotten in the free agent market to play that role? Factor in the potential for Vujacic to go home and play in Europe for maybe more money and the Lakers might end up getting Sasha at a good value.

And then there was the NFL, where training camps are starting up and the first preseason game is (thankfully) just around the corner. There’s going to be questions out of every camp but the biggest one, which will loom over the entire preseason, is still about Brett Favre. Now that he’s talking to the Jets, does that mean he’s officially done with Green Bay and set on coming back? Or maybe he’ll go to the Buccaneers, who never dislike having too many arms. Wherever he ends up, at least the Packers did the smart thing and canceled his jersey retirement ceremony. Now that would have been silly.

And quickly, has there ever been an athlete on the cover of an EA Sports game that was traded during the season he was the cover-boy? Well that very well could happen if Favre is on the move after August 12, Madden 09’s street date. Brett always was all for breaking records.

Then there were there were the trades in baseball. With the deadline closing in quite quickly, it was fairly easy to predict that somebody was bound to make a move over the weekend. There may not have been anything huge that came from the Yankees dealing for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady or the Dodgers rescuing the versatile Casey Blake from Cleveland but the real intriguing development was that Manny’s welcome in Boston may have finally worn out. But it seems that happens every year around this time.

While it’s improbable that anyone could put together a package to land Ramirez, I think that something has to give in Boston. The bond between team and player in this saga has snapped and as talented as Man-Ram is, he’s got to find a new home. Whenever a big name hits the trade market you’ll always bring up the Yankees as a destination but there’s no way a Boston-New York trade would ever happen… or could it? I think dealing Ramirez to the Mets would be a great idea for both teams. Mets officials are always enamored by latino players and they have the cash and players to send back to Boston. There’s still a few days left to make a deal so I’ll for sure be keeping an eye out on rumours revolving around Shea. Even if it’s not Manny, they have to make a few moves anyway.

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