Hi. It’s me, Bob. Of Bob’s blog. And I am back.
A big thanks to SeaBass. He finished a full week of very solid blogging. I really appreciate him doing that, and judging on your comments, most of you got to like him, too. Perhaps, Sean’s Blog is right around the corner.
Now, that I am back, and ready to blog with you, allow me to respond to emails like these:
Been a hockey fan forever and a season ticket holder for a decade.
And I'm not one of those Stars fans that panics every time another team signs a free agent in July. Far from it, in fact.
Were they even IN CONTENTION for Briere or Drury or Gomez or Lupul or Kozlov or Schneider or ANYBODY? Not a PEEP out of Doug Armstrong, other than to extend Zubov? Does it register with anyone in charge that they need help filling the net?
If this is how it remains up till your show starts Monday, please blast them. They need to hear it from you.
Patrick in Fort Worth
Wow ! are we (Stars) hot!! How in the world Hicks agreed to keep this management and coaching staff is simply amazing but then again at least he is consistent, look at the Ranger's and the moves of Jon Daniels. The first day of free agency and two teams committed to winning (Anaheim and Detroit) both go out and make a move to improve their team. Yes, I know we extended Zubov but he was already on this team for this season. It is only day one but as a Stars fan I feel we have already been left behind.
I blame this management team for putting us in the position it has, to where we do not have the financial flexibility to make any real moves. I spoke with my buddies in the Flyer's organization and they are not done even after signing Briere. I believe this organization will regret the day it decided to bring back this GM and head coach when a guy like Claude Julien was there for the taking. With all that the Stars have meant to this city and for all of the great things The Hicks family has done over the past several years it now appears we have an organization "playing not to lose" which has never been it's style. The Nagy trade alone should have gotten Armstrong relieved of his duties but what the heck, I am only a frustrated fan.
Cowboy's in camp in 25 days!
Mr. Sturminator, we missed you.
Not expecting much from the Mavs, pretty good team as it is. Just fill in some role players…
But, man, are the Stars making great moves or what?! Extension for Zubov?
Brilliant!!! I really think they should offer Gordie Howe a 5 year/$35 million contract. Inject some youth in our line-up.
At least the Rangers are creeping up towards 10 games under .500
Um, seriously, at least it’s July! One more month to Cowboy
Well, my official response is this: I don’t like what the Stars are doing. I didn’t like it when they spent all of their money on their own players (Turco, Modano, Morrow, Zubov, Lehtinen) and then traded their #1 picks for Nagy and Norstrom (who makes over 4 million this season).
The reason I don’t like it is that besides Morrow and Turco, those are all players who have past their primes. And now, you are expecting the ancient Zubov and Modano to take on the thoroughbreds in this division (Ducks, Sharks) with guys over the age of 36. Not going to work.
So, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think paying big bucks on Ryan Smyth makes things much better. He is old, too – but wow, the Avalanche got a reasonable price on him, eh?
The Stars desperately need to get players who are either in or heading towards their prime. Easier said then done, but free agency is a tough place to accomplish this. However, with the new collective bargaining agreement, free agents are getting younger and younger (Scott Hartnell).
It will likely take some creative trades (Mike Smith?) to get a player who has a “2” as his first digit and can actually make a bit of a difference on this team. Mike Ribiero was a decent start, but not nearly enough.
I said last summer that this team looks very mediocre and average. Guess what? It isn’t getting better, in my estimation…yet. We have to see what lies ahead for Doug Armstrong.
But as far as spending, we always say that sports are about the “Haves” and the “Have Nots”. The idea is that the teams that are willing to spend are always going to “have”. Well, here is a news flash: In the post A-Rod, Guerin era, We appear to be a “Have Not” during free agency.
Avs strike it big …
"Captain Canada" Ryan Smyth has found a new home with the Colorado Avalanche.
Late in a frenzied first day of free-agent signing, Smyth -- the last remaining topflight forward -- left the New York Islanders on Sunday night for a return trip to the Western Conference.
Smyth agreed to a five-year deal worth $31.25 million with the Avalanche, who are looking to quickly rebuild a franchise that missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 1994 -- two years before the team relocated to Denver from Quebec.
"Ryan is a proven, top-tier athlete in the NHL who will be an outstanding fit with our club's continued philosophy and goal of providing our fans with a dynamic and exciting product," Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said. "He's a player that exemplifies grit, determination and courage and will be among the future leaders of this franchise."
Islanders general manager Garth Snow, who made retaining Smyth his top priority, got the bad news that Smyth was leaving Long Island from the forward's agent, Don Meehan.
"It was obviously not what we wanted to hear, but I appreciated the call," Snow said. "Don said we were right in it for Ryan's services until the very end and it was one of the hardest decisions he'd ever been a part of."
The Islanders acquired Smyth from the Edmonton Oilers just minutes before the NHL trade deadline in February. New York gave up two former first-round picks plus this year's No. 1 selection to get him, but couldn't make the big move stick by signing him to a long-term contract.
"Ryan decided it was best for him and his family to sign with Colorado," Snow said. "The Avalanche are very fortunate to have him and we wish Ryan and his family the best. I said when I made the trade to acquire Ryan from Edmonton that it's a deal I'd do over and over again.
Drury and Gomez go to the Rangers … Briere to Philadelphia … Leafs get reported Stars target Blake … Blues get Kariya … Sharks lock up Joe Thornton …
And the Stars get squat.
Well, actually, they extended Zubov for one year …which is slightly more than squat…
Hradek looks at the winners and losers ...
Rangers keep winning??? …Rangers are 12-8 since Mark Teixeira got hurt. And, 22-39 with him healthy. Hmmmm. I’m just saying. Boy, losing Blalock and Teixeira has really damaged this thing.
With half of the season complete, the Rangers have a 34-47 record. Only four Rangers teams in the 36-year history of the franchise have had worse records.
Texas is missing its starting first baseman and third baseman, each of whom have been All-Stars. The second baseman is also out with an injury.
The No. 1 starter has a 4-7 record and the No. 2 starter is 3-8. Both have ERAs near 7.00.
And the Rangers are playing their best baseball of the season.
The Rangers stunned the Red Sox again Sunday, this time 2-1, and are guaranteed at least a split against a team that has been the best team in the American League for most of the season.
That comes on the heels of a 2-1 series victory over Detroit, the defending American League champions.
With Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock and Ian Kinsler missing and Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla not at peak form, the Rangers' success makes no sense.
But it's real.
"It affects what you can do with the injures, but it doesn't amaze me," Rangers manager Ron Washington said, "because good teams -- and you'll say our record doesn't say we're a good team -- but good teams step up and those guys in the clubhouse are stepping up.
"They're not concerned with what we don't have. They're just working together with what we have, and that's what good teams do. It took us a month and a half to turn it around, but I think we're a good team."
The record, amazingly, supports Washington -- at least at this point. The Rangers are 11-5 in their past 16 games and 4-2 on the current road trip.
And they are getting a huge boost from Kameron Loe, who was sent to Triple A for three days, did not pitch, was called back up, and now has won four consecutive games and has lowered his ERA from 7.40 to 5.72.
Mavs target Gerald Wallace? …
The Mavericks were among the first half-dozen teams to inquire about free-agent swingman Gerald Wallace, but it will be a long, difficult journey to acquire him.
It's also possible that other free-agent targets will be more obtainable.
Still, Wallace is near or at the top of the Mavs' wish list, even though acquiring him will take much more than the mid-level exception, which is expected to be between $5.8 million and $6 million.
Wallace, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds for Charlotte last season, is considered one of the top-three free agents left on the board, along with Seattle's Rashard Lewis and Detroit's Chauncey Billups. He will command as much as $10 million annually, which means the Mavericks would have to work a sign-and-trade deal with the Bobcats.
The Mavericks are also interested in forward P.J. Brown, whose agent, Mark Bartelstein, also represents James Posey and Mikki Moore. Brown is contemplating retirement, but the Mavericks may be able to acquire him for their biannual exception, which is worth $1.8 million.
Others on the Mavs' board are Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus from Golden State.
On the home front, Nelson and Jerry Stackhouse's agent, Jeff Schwartz, indicated Sunday that both sides are hopeful to reach an agreement this week.
_r=1&oref=slogin> USA needs a win today …
After an opening wipeout against Argentina, the United States is hoping to bounce back against Paraguay tonight in the Copa América. The Americans took an early lead against Argentina on Thursday, then gave up four straight goals. With a poor goal differential, the United States probably needs at least a tie against Paraguay to keep alive its chances of advancing.
You can watch the game on Gol tv – Directv 614 (which I am guessing very few people have), or on Channel 49 locally…but that of course, is in Spanish…5:30 pm kickoff.
OK. I watched a great Documentary last night, called Street Thief. I want to recommend it to you, but Is it a documentary? …I feel cheated…
Thursday, A"Street Thief" (9 p.m.&E) is an intriguing 2-hour film that asks viewers, right off the bat, to accept a central premise that is pretty hard to believe: that a professional thief would allow documentary filmmakers to follow him around for months and witness him using all the tricks of his trade.
The movie’s gimmick is to present itself as a documentary about a Chicago burglar named Kaspar Carr, but shouldn’t the thief’s first name be a clue about whether he’s real or not?
In any case, the filmmakers behind “Street Thief” have certainly made a movie that does, indeed, look a lot like a real documentary about a burglar — the dialogue, jagged camera work and even the occasional slow patches feel like authentic slices of cinema verite.
Carr is a boastful, foul-mouthed solo thief and refuses the filmmakers’ attempts to draw him out of his shell. He has no “sob story” to share; there’s no fatal flaw that made him want to steal, he says. He recalls his grandmother walking into a grocery store with him on Halloween when he was young — and instead of waiting for an employee to hand out one treat, the grandmother scooped entire boxes of candy into her purse. Nobody noticed, nothing happened and that was that — Carr’s career choice was made.
Carr works the ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago, targeting mom and pop stores and non-chain grocery stores, but his biggest score involves an attempt to grab the weekend receipts of a suburban movie theater. Clearly the filmmakers did their homework on how career thieves go about their jobs, and though Carr is not presented as a hero or even an admirable guy, his techniques and extensive planning are depicted with fascinating accuracy.
The movie picks up steam in its second half, which attempts to stray into thriller territory, but much of that momentum is squandered on an inconclusive ending. Some interesting plot threads emerge, only to go nowhere (one hunting sequence seems completely out of place). On the other hand, Carr’s story is intercut with taped interviews of another professional thief who’s in prison, and those sequences are taut and well-acted. The performances throughout are admirably natural.
Whatever its flaws — and it does have the variable energy and skill levels of a first-time feature — “Street Thief” kept me wondering until the end. Not about whether Carr was real, but about where the story would end up. Director Malik Bader has depicted the alleyways and neighborhoods of Chicago with an unsentimental and compelling eye, and if “Street Thief” is not an instant classic, it’s certainly an interesting effort.
You can buy it here …
Teaser for Street Thief here.
That is all I got for today. See you tomorrow.