Random thoughts while sipping a cup of Mulligatawny soup at Martin's:
Unlike, apparently, the rest of the country, I'm not particularly titillated by Alex Rodriguez's extramarital club-hopping. I'm not going to wag any fingers at the New York Post, because guys like A-Rod should never, ever be caught hitting strip clubs with women who are not their wives. A-Rod has enough money to hire five or six strippers, bring them to his hotel room and spring for free booze for his entourage, if that's what he's interested in.
Anyway, it is the nature of this business now that these kinds of things are big news. And, truth be told, the Post headline writer ("Stray-Rod") should get a bonus.
But I feel bad for his wife, who probably had some inkling something was going on, and his family. I don't feel bad for his attorneys and whomever Mrs. A-Rod will hire for the divorce proceedings. They will do well.
I've been asked several times for my reaction to the Celtics' lottery mishap. My response is, they've never had an overall number one pick, and seemed to do OK. Of course, the man who orchestrated this dynasty, Arnold "Red" Auerbach, is no longer with us. If one was tempted to suggest that Auerbach got too much credit for the Celtics' success, consider this: He built that team up three separate times over a 30-year span (1957-87): During the Bill Russell era, the Dave Cowens era and the Larry Bird era. The powers-that-be in Boston have not duplicated that feat once in 20 years (1987-2007).
I don't have any answers for instant Celtic success. Getting the No. 1 pick would have guaranteed respectability. But had they gotten Ohio State giant Greg Oden, Boston would have still had to build a team around him.
I think the Celtics suffer when compared to the two flagship franchises in Boston, the Patriots and the Red Sox. The powers-that-be in the latter two franchises tend to think outside the box more: The Pats deliberately draft players who are more versatile and flexible, in order to fit them into roles they might not have played in college.
The Sox have tapped into the burgeoning overseas market to get where they are and that has clearly paid off. The Celtics tend to walk down the same path over and over again, and it is frustrating to watch.
I continue to be thoroughly entertained by Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's blog 38pitches.com. I would urge anyone interested in the inside game of baseball to read it. Schilling generally posts after a start, and his thoughts on how to pitch various players in various situations are, to me at least, extremely interesting and insightful. I think it's the best sports blog in the blogosphere.
Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James' 48-point effort, including his team's last 25 points, in a double-overtime win against the Detroit Pistons Thursday night (in Detroit), has elevated him into the pantheon of supestars. To many, I'm sure he was already there.
Speaking of those Cavs, the last time they were in the Eastern Conference Finals was 1976, against your Boston Celtics. Cleveland had a serious shot to get into the NBA Finals that year (Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns would probably have been a ratings nightmare for CBS, though). But their center, former Marquette star Jim Chones, had been injured in the previous series, and the Cavs had to go with backup Nate Thurmond, by then an aging veteran against Boston and lost the series in six games.
I recall that Thurmond's principal defensive manuver against a faster, younger Dave Cowens that year was a knee to the crotch when Cowens tied to post him up. Cowens' counter to that was to simply run Nate into the ground.