Sunday, June 24, 2007

Draft 2007: Scenario 2

The Stay-Put:

I have to first confess that Scenario 2:The Stay-Put is currently buried away in a dark corner of my mind while Scenario 1: The Trade Up bobs and weaves at the front of my mind. So before delving into The Stay-Put let's touch up on some things.

I've been hearing stray and totally baseless rumors about Philly trading up, potentially even dangling Andre Miller to get into the top 5. Which raised the throbbing question: would Andre Miller get us into the top 5?!?! That would seem ridiculous, be let's tackle this potential coup before it happens. Question #1: Would the Hawks trade the #3 pick for Andre Miller. Hmmm, I would say no in every language I can say no in for this one(since no is universal that's a LOT of languages), except they DO need a point guard, Miller is under contract for 2 more years, he's big, crafty, and surprisingly resilient offensively, and he would probably do in Atlanta what he did in Philly last year, namely be a smart, stabilizing leader for young guys who need one. He appears to be a good teammate, his handguns are registered, his dogs have tags, and his career, college and pros, has taken him from Utah to Cleveland to Los Angeles to Denver to Philly. Hot, cold, mormons, models, mile high to mad wide, this guy can adapt to any surrounding and do his thing. Still, I'd be shocked if Atlanta, with the option of Horford, Conley Jr., Brewer, Noah, Wright, etc., would pass and instead take a 31 year old dude with decidedly un-sexy highlights and statistics that leave you cold. Would Billy Knight dare?

Which leads us to the other terrible Black GM named Billy, Billy King. Question #2: Would the Sixers trade Andre Miller for the #3 pick in the draft? Straight up, player for pick, I'd have to believe it would be a no-brainer yes. I like Andre Miller a lot. Having watched him over the past few months of last season I saw a rare player, a true point guard who makes his teammates better by getting them the ball in effective spots, by setting a tempo that works best for the team, by scoring when needed and pulling back and getting the hot hand the ball. He's real good. But we have the make that trade. Our immediate future might be a bit murky due to a void at point guard(Louis Williams is still a year or two away from....something good hopefully) but over the long road we'd be set-up nice with Horford or whoever. Now, would I trade the #12 and Andre Miller? I think so but then I'd also want to trade the other two first round picks(#21 and #30) to move up and get another good player in the top 20. Let me end this fun trip to Tradeville by mentioning that this trade will probably not happen. Which is what makes the Draft so damn awesome, because until draft night, none of these ludicrous scenarios haven't NOT happened, and the imagination is left fluttering away in its own barrel of boozy delirium, with visions of the perfect frontcourt, the ultimate sixth man, and a draft for the ages.

So, before I go I should touch on the original premise of this feature, The Stay-Put. Staying at #12 makes sense for several reasons. First, you don't want to give up too much to move up only a few slots when you can stay at 12 and probably get a decent player. Second, and this is an extension of the first point, GM's in this league are morons. Only a few of the 30 GMs in the NBA have any clue who is ever going to be great rather than good, or good instead of awful. Look at the drafts from the past and you'll see bums going early and gems going late. Billy King is a moron 4 days out of the week, so for him to give up players and more picks to move up and take somebody who he thinks is worth it could be a huge risk. Remember, this is the man who's responsible for Philly paying Aaron McKie, Chris Webber, Greg Buckner, and probably even Big Shot next year. My point? If you stay at #12, chances are somebody in front of you will screw up, choke, or hit the bottle on the big night and make a mistake, leaving you with something good. Who's to say that Al Thornton won't be the best player out of this draft in 10 years? Maybe Jeff Green will somehow slip to #12. If the Sixers stay at #12 it's because moving up would cost too much, and also because there are players lower on the board they like. The hot name right(at 12) is Al Thornton, but don't be surprised if they take big white man Spencer Hawes if he's available. And don't be surprised if he's terrible. Trade-up Trade-Up!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NBA Draft 2007: What's The Scenario?

With all the mock drafts floating around the cyberworld, cluttering our minds with heaping helpings of fact-free analysis and useless terminology designed to disguise the poor prospects and overindulge the good ones, you must ask, do I really need to read another? What can the Dalembert Report provide that others simply will not?

It's simple: first of all, turning away from any mock draft is impossible. Do you close your eyes in the movie theater when the previews come on? Would you ever spend all night at the bar drinking beer, smoke a huge blunt in a friends car while listening to Biggie, stop at a Wawa, and not go inside to instigate an epic grub? Could you get off a plane, see the Brazilian womens soccer team in bikinis all holding placards, one of which has your name on it, and walk on by? Yes, no, and no, only because movies suck these days and previews are too long and usually boring. Whatever, sorry. Mock drafts are fantastic, they're easy to read, easy to understand, and it's nearly impossible to be held accountable for one.

Second, here at the DR we make no bones about basing our opinions less on factual reality than on flagrant Philly pride and longing, to go with a healthy dose of gut instinct and blind hatred. I don't pretend to know which scouts like which foreign guy more, nor do I care. In my experience as a fan and prognosticator of talent I've found that judging young talent solely on ethnicity, government name, choice of shoes and tattoos(or lack thereof), and March Madness showing(or lack thereof) tends to do the job, and quite well mind you. I knew Mike Dunleavy Jr. would suck in the NBA. Why? Because he's white! From Duke! Bad name and the #3 overall pick. I also had a good feeling about Kyle Korver. Why? Because he's white! From Creighton! Great name and a mid-2nd round pick. It's the subtle differences of interpretation that we pride ourselves on.

With that explained, here is the first installment of our 2007 NBA Draft Scenario section. We deal most directly with the Sixers picks, but please, read on no matter what team you root for. Somehow we will make this meaningful for fans of each team in the league.

Scenenario #1: The Trade Up

Clearly the first two picks are pretty much set. If Oden and Durant don't go 1st and 2nd, well shit, this draft will be even more fun than The Vikings Sex Boat. The draft really starts with Atlanta at #3, which is like saying the Macy's Day Parade will start as soon as The Hoff and Patrick Swayze sing a duet of Wind Beneath My Wings. You couldn't give the keys to a more drunk and blind driver and ask them to lead you home. From a Sixers fan perspective I want to see them(The Hawks that is) pick somebody with tons of unseen potential and no good grasp of the English language. That hope will actually hold true for all of the teams picking in front of Philly. The best case scenario(within scenario #1), as I see it, is for Corey Brewer, Jeff Green, Yoakim Noah, or Al Horford to slip into the 7-10 range where we could possibly trade our pick and Willie Green, move up, and grab 'em. Willie Green you say? I know it's a stretch, but listen people, the GM's involved in this draft are responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of ludicrous basketball decisions over the past twenty years, most of which have led to this very draft.

I expect Horford and Brewer to be quickly snatched and totally unavailable by the 6th pick at the latest. Both Green and Noah seem sure to go by #10. Can the Sixers pull if off? Will they give up two or even all three of their first round picks for the chance to move up a few spots for the guy they want? I must be fair in discussing Billy King. Overall I think he's done about as good a job as the Principle at Eastside High prior to Joe Clarke. But I'll say this: the man makes moves. He likes trading players, picks, and in general using as many cellphones and blackberries as possible. I expect him to make something happen, and again in fairness, his draft record is not bad. The Trade-Up can happen if he targets a guy and feels the need to go get him. I fully support trading up to get one of the aforementioned studs but will be angry and confused if we get a White or Chinese guy in the Top 10. With four picks out of the first thirty-eight, look for The Sixers to be aggressive. I'll be there. But not before writing Scenario #2, coming later this week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yosemite Sam Ain't Got Nothin' On ME!

Since your regular DR editors are busy plotting Billy King's assassination (did I really just put that on the internet? Goddamn you, interior monologue! You've deserted me yet again), loyal DR Sparks-provider Flyntskins has taken up the task of monitoring the local papers for the zany exploits of our local athletes. Enjoy:

Trent, we hardly knew ye.

As the minicamps come to an end this week, the Eagles will be embarking on a month long vacation before the preparations for the season truly begin at Lehigh on July 27th. AJ Feeley and Lito Sheppard will be lounging beachside in separate locales; Donovan McNabb is making his annual pilgrimage with a grip of buls to Arizona to eat Chunky soup and play catch; Sheldon Brown will be doing the gangsta lean behind the wheel of his new RV with his family in tow; and Reggie Brown will be quietly nursing the multitude of hideous, possibly medically undocumented venereal diseases picked up during his post-season trip to Thailand(*).

So, as you can see, despite their varied destinations our beloved Birds will similarly be using this time to relax, possibly take in a few light workouts and generally play it safe in anticipation of what will certainly be a rigorous, grueling, physically and emotionally taxing training camp and subsequent 2007 NFL season.

Everyone except Trent Cole, who’s doing his best to be the inspiration behind this year’s black armbands.

As dictated by our own Philadelphia Inquirer, the standout, young Eagles DE is planning to "[go] home to Ohio to fish, hunt, boat, and have some parties".

While the backwoods of Ohio presumably has a shortage of strip clubs, which are fast becoming the average NFL Player’s kryptonite/shooting range, by no means does this indicate that Trent will be avoiding any top-of-the-hour appearances on SportsCenter throughout the month of July.

In an effort to gain further insight into the magnitude of the tragedies that are all but imminent, Inquirer uber-vixen Ashley “I’m A” Fox managed to obtain the following quote from Cole despite her hectic schedule of DR reading(**) and being the object of my frequent, but decidedly un-creepy(***) daydreams:

"I've got a bass boat... I'll take a couple trips, because there's a bunch of lakes in Ohio. Ohio's a big state. I'm going to do some trapping, because I've got to get some varmints off my farm. There's some coyotes. We're going ATV riding, too. I'm getting away from the city life for a while where I ain't going to hear no sirens."

This one practically writes itself.

Boating. Hunting. ATVs. Varmints & Coyotes. This shit is going to play out like a real-life game of Clue ("it was the varmint, with an ATV, in the cornfield...")and Trent may not hear them, but sirens there will certainly be. This is easily the worst collection of ideas that anyone who doesn’t refer to their sister as ‘Mom’ has ever had, and it doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict the outcome. Update your death pools accordingly.

Your high step will always be remembered, Trent.

* - somewhere between speculation and an educated guess
** - I can’t prove that
*** - that’s very subjective

We Talkin' Bout....

Straight from the amazing treasure trove of video history that is Youtube, comes probably the best thing i've seen in 2007.

Watching this video is a little bit like seeing an ex-girlfriend: yeah, maybe she was completely insane and being with her nearly led to your being committed, and yeah, maybe she monopolized your life to an unhealthy extreme for many many years, and yeah, maybe your way better off now that you finally stopped giving her second chances and decided to cut your losses and move on with your life...but just think of all the good times you had together!

Monday, June 18, 2007

You're Entering a World of Pain

The Dalembert Report would like to welcome into the fold the newest frustrated Philly sports fan, Jasper Ryan Furnas. At 8 pounds 15 ounces of pure muscle, we're predicting that Jasper will be starting at left tackle for the Birds come 2027, though we're holding out hope that he'll choose a career as Phillies manager, in which case he should ready to step in some time in August.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Scintillating Insight

Thanks to a fortuitous series of events involving a wedding cake, an SUV and my own always reliable sloth, I was able to be firmly planted on the 420 Rex couch in time for the start of tonight's Phillies game.

Thank God.

Because if I hadn't, I might have missed Gary Matthews' astute and insightful 'Keys to the Game'. This is a section of the pregame where the Sarge breaks down the areas in which the Phils will have to excel in order to defeat the opposing starter du jour. Tonight we faced Jeremy Bonderman, who throws hard, has a GED, and hasn't lost all year. Drawing on his years of baseball experience, Matthews had the following advice for the Phillies:

1)Pitch Well
2)Good At Bats

Gee, thanks Sarge.

If the Phillies and their fans wanted someone to point out inane and simplistic facts that anyone who's never played in or even seen a baseball game could probably figure out within two seconds, we'd hire Sam Dalembert. Wait a minute...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two Games Back!

Well well. Look who started winning while I was busy watching a testosterone-fueled display of of homoerotic behavior.

Some salient points about the Phillies latest winning streak:

-Everyone wonders why Pat the Glove always hits so well against the Mets. Not me. It's pretty obvious that it's his crystal meth and astroglide fueled evenings in Chelsea that inspire him to amazing feats on the playing field. I worried a bit that Pat's Met-bashing might fall off when the team got rid of his late night cruising cohort "Up to the Elbow" Mike Piazza, but those fears proved to be ungrounded. I wonder who Pat's new Met boy toy is? Part of me really hopes it's that kiddie fiddler Paul Lo Duca.

-I know I've pointed this out before, but Alfonseca is fast becoming my favorite Phillie. Who wouldn't root for a ginormous teddy bear-looking Domincan closer with a lighthearted demeanor and a heart of gold who just happens to have a hideous physical abnormality? here's an entertaining tidbit from the 9th inning of last night's game:

The Phillies converged on the mound to calm Alfonseca down. When home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson headed to the mound to break up the meeting, Alfonseca apologized for the incident and patted him on the behind.

(Sigh) He's so awesome...

-Before we get too excited, let's all take a minute and remember that we've been here before. Last year. And the year before. And the year before that. We all know what's gonna wind up happening. Or at least DN blogger Will Bunch does.

More on my life-affirming trip into the depths of white trash nirvana as soon as I finish delivering cakes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bust A Nutter

Can anybody guess what's going through the mind of presumptive Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in this picture?

Here's a clue: I bet this guy could.

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Overdeveloped Sense of Vengeance

My day already feels like someone's been poking at it with a blunt machete. Between the always-exciting Monday morning Xanax hangover, and the always miserable Monday morning Phillies hangover, my general mindset is similar to that of a Prozac deprived Tony Soprano holed up on a sheetless mattress with a giant gat pointed at the door.

The only ray of hope on my bleak horizon is an obese Domincan who seems to hold the fate of the Phillies in his six-fingered hand.

Are we looking at the second coming of Steve Bedrosian, as evidenced when Alfonseca ran throught Beltran, Delgado and Wright like he runs through the postgame buffet? Or are we loooking at the second coming of Jose Mesa (more on Joe Table later), as evidenced by his fat physique, nappy goatee and tendency to give up titanic innings from time to time?

I say the former. But then again, I'm a Phillies optimist to the point that it doesn't seem that farfetched for Joe Table and his electric blue glove to slip seamlessly back inot 2003 form and go bow-hunting for Omar Vizquel's kids.

A bullpen with Alfonseca, Geary and Myers doing most of the dirty work isn't as bad as it seems, especially when you consider the addition of the potential Wing Bowl champion Matt Zagurski. Or is it worse than it seems, considering that Myers is on the DL and Zagurski is a hot dog or two away from a massive coronary.

And that should Mandy Patinkin ever get wind of Alfonseca's whereabouts, he should probably prepare to die.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Germans Are Funny

One time I went to Germany with my brother and our good friend Peter. A fantastic time was had by all, though Joe learned the hard way (asking a kindly old lady if she was in the market for "Some Hard Dick") that most Germans speak pretty good English. Which makes this BBC story, even though its kind of old, even more hilarious.

A video aired on German TV has shown an army recruit on firing practice being ordered to pretend he was in New York's Bronx facing hostile African Americans.

Amazing what typing the words "racist" and "german" into YouTube will get you:

The basic translation, via BBC, is as follows:

"You're in the Bronx, a black van pulls up in front of you and three African-Americans get out and start really insulting your mother... act!".

I guess the cats out of the bag with regards to which NY borough will get to play the role of France come WWIII. I imagine this is similar to the kind of training Sammy D undergoes when he's in training for the paintball season.