While props should definitely be handed out to GMs Johnny Pax & Kenny Will for Noce & Burls comin’ back, I’m sending my luv (Ali Larter whip-cream to Johnny Mox style) to the man sitting in his own sky-box at both…Jerry Reinsdorf. Of course, we could argue about whether the Bulls ova-paid for Noce or if Buehrle’s value could have helped more in rebuilding the Sox “skill-challenged” farm system, but instead, I’d rather give the them kudos for re-signing two of their fan-favorites that have also helped re-shape the style and atmosphere of the two franchises. Lookin’ up-n-down both rosters, it’s obvious Reinsdorf has given his blessing to Kenny and Pax to spent his money on players dedicated to their craft. In a sports world full of underachieving superstars, it’s easy to justify ova-paying for ova-achieving 3rd-tier stars and role-players, especially if the contracts aren’t long-term for players rollin’ into their 30s. With the Bulls, we’ve see it with Captain Kirk and Big Ben, and on the Southside, we’ve seen it with Paulie, Javier, and Jermaine Dye’s 2005 deal.
Even more impressive to a selfish bastard like myself, was watchin’ both of them take a hometown discount. While family wishes played a role in keepin’ both in town, I strongly believe the confidence they had in the franchises to continue to built the right-way, and the relationships they had with the existing coaches and teammates played the biggest role. Just like on E! TV’s “The Girls Next Door”, in today’s day-n-age it’s considered a luxury to have teammates and roommates getting along to the point that they slap each other’s bottoms just for fun.
As for the Greggy G analysis of the moves, obviously the Buehrle signing was a no-brainer with all the money and years he was willing to give-up. Even though Kenny made diehard Sox fans double-up their Marlboro Red purchases the last few weeks, tough to rip a GM who signed one of the best starting pitching deals in last decade. As for the Bulls, I believe Nocioni could have gotten more money elsewhere, but the combination of his love for the team/city and Paxson’s brilliant move to convince other GMs he’d match any offer for the Argentinean kept him in red & black. With that said, we could argue like Michael Irvin trying to convince us he’s the greatest player/role model that Noce isn’t worth 5 years and 38 million, but we can’t argue about the versatility, passion, and winning attitude Andres brings to the Bulls young table. While I want a low-post star now and believe we have enough to offer without mortgaging all our talent, Paxson may not be ready for that risk just yet and seems extremely comfortable stockpiling young, hard-working talent. Maybe he’s taking the correct long-term approach, but in opinion, after watched the Eastern Conference playoffs this year...I think he may be missing a unique opportunity.
Wow, that was pretty frickin’ boring. Anyway, the All-Star break is upon us, so hopefully I can re-group with my scouts after a horrible ATS weekend and improve on my 55-33 record the second half. Until then, I have the Home Run Derby winner for ya, but if your shaking for some more action, just give me a call and I’ll send you my WNBA picks for toinght! Holla
HR DERBY CHAMP - RYAN HOWARD
With the stadium configuration designed for Barry to break the record, this power hitting lefty should dominate the derby. Sure Prince Fielder and Justin Morneau have a nice stroke from that side, but I just can’t see either of them competing with the 6-4 260 lbs softball swinging kid from Philly.