Neither awesome, nor sucky, but I wanted to mention Torry Holt signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars today. It's a three year deal, with base salaries totaling $13 million and which could reach up to $20 million with incentives. Most interesting is that their is no signing bonus, and only the first year is guaranteed, making this extremely low risk for the Jags. With a better QB (if you consider Garrard a better QB) if Holt can return to his pro bowl form - the form where he was able to gather at least 80 catches and 1,180 yards for eight straight years - this contract is a steal for Jacksonville and a boon for Holt. If he looks more like the creaky, broken down old man he did last year, well, no big hit to the Jags and Holt gets a bit more cash for the pile.
Anyway, on to the real stuff.
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. The Celtics/Bulls game. WOW. Just wow. That might have been the best basketball game I've seen since Kansas/Memphis [EDIT: Never mind, I forgot about Gonzaga/Western Kentucky, but it's the best game since that one.] I was going to highlight a player from the game, but who to choose? Rajon Rondo put up a triple double with nineteen points, sixteen assists, and twelve boards, despite Derrick Rose not at all respecting his jump shot and pretty much giving him anything outside of eighteen feet. It didn't matter, as Rondo used his quickness to get to the rim and either score or find teammates beautifully. How about the battle between former UCONNers Ben Gordon and Ray Allen? Gordon finished with a game-high 42, and was absolutely unconscious in the second half. Of course, so was Allen, who finished with 30, 28 coming in the second half, and hit the game winning three with 2.2 left of a Rondo assist following a Rondo offensive rebound. Allen not only has the prettiest shot in the NBA, but it might be the quickest as well. Even Big Baby Davis, filling in for the injured KG, deserves mention for putting up his career high 26 points in a big spot. Just an awesome, awesome game all the way around, and reminded me why I love the NBA playoffs.
2. Ross Ohlendorf. Who? Yeah, I don't know either, but guess who completely stymied the hottest team in baseball (the Marlins) last night? Yep, Rossy. Seven innings, two hits, no runs, and picked up the win when the Pirate bullpen decided not to blow it. Ohlendorf has made just thirteen career starts after two years as a reliever, and has never posted a season ERA of less than 6.35 in his three years. Due to his low strikeout rate, he was never considered an elite prospect, but hey, he shut down the hottest team in baseball. I'm guessing this is more mirage than trend, but who the hell knows? I'm kind of an idiot.
3. Tony Parker. I hate writing about commies as much as the next guy, but my only other choice for this spot would have been Dustin Pedroia, and I hate writing about Red Sox even more, so here you go. Parker led the Spurs to 105-84 victory over the Mavs last night to even their series at 1-1, going for 38 points (on 16-22 shooting) and dishing 8 assists. Of course, this is much less impressive considering he had Jason Kidd guarding him, who would have trouble stopping Travis Busch at this point. Parker has abused Kidd (assuming he played for Dallas all year, I'm too lazy to look it up), going for 31.2 points and 7.5 assists against him compared to 22 and 7 overall this year. And I'm already bored with this paragraph.
1. Andrew Miller. Once a first round pick and top prospect of the Tigers, Miller was shipped over to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera trade and, well, has looked more like David West than John Smoltz (they were both prospects traded for veterans, you see). Last night we was the poor bastard to faced the Cy Young candidate Ross Ohlendorf, but it wasn't much of a battle with Miller not getting out of the fifth, giving up five hits and four runs to boost his season ERA to 6.94. In his 35 career starts, Miller is 11-17 and sports an ERA of 5.87 and a WHIP of 1.70. I know what you're thinking: it's only 35 career starts and he's still just 24 years old, but this might be a case of rushing a player to the bigs before he is ready. Last night Miller's fastball topped out at just 87 miles per hour - that's being blamed on an oblique injury (he's now on the 15-day DL), but warning sirens are screaming right now.
2. Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates are 7-6 and showing some life. The Marlins are 11-2 and have the best record in the entire league. The Rays were in the series last year and are considered one of the top contenders to win the whole thing this season. The Royals are on top of the AL Central, and might be able to stay there. Every historic bad team is at the very least giving their team some hope this season - except for the Orioles, who, after a good start, have fallen back to earth and are in the midst of a five game losing streak after losing 12-1 to the Red Sox yesterday in a game where Radhames Liz (my favorite first name in MLB) continued his spectacular flameout from prospect to pitching in the Northern League (maybe) going 0.1 innings and giving up six earned runs while hitting two of the seven batters he faced and walking another. As per usual, the O's can hit and score, but the pitching is atrocious with a team ERA of 6.72, and without a single good pitcher or even one with potential, this is just going to continue. Might as well call up Wieters now to try to get some good PR.
3. Chris Iannetta. Rockies catcher Iannetta went 1-3 last night against the D-Backs, and if you're wondering why that's news it's because it pushed his hit total to a grand total of three on the year, raising his average from .086 all the way up to the stellar .111. Iannetta has been the hot catching prospect for three years now, flaming out in his first season (.218/.330/.350) before bouncing back last year with a nice .264/.390/.505 with 18 ding dongs. Now, this season, he's put up .111/.314/.333 and is striking out once every 2.7 at bats. The plate patience is still nice with seven walks already, but at some point you actually have to hit the ball. He still has power when he does (two of his three hits are home runs) and the potential is still there, but since this guy screwed me in fantasy baseball two years ago he can go suck it. Rockies guy, any insight here?