Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Red Rocket Chronicles

Chris Ryan, my co-host for "The NBA Life with Matt Bonner" extracted this audio gem from the Red Rocket on our last show. Bonner was in Philadelphia for Twilight Zone moment. Chris: What's a good story from the road lately?

Bonner: We came in to Philly, and I dropped my bags off and went to do an interview with a band called “The War on Drugs.” I came back, got in the cab, told the driver we were staying at the Four Seasons. That’s where we’ve always stayed since I’ve been with the Spurs for the past five years.

I got on the elevator and went to hit Floor 9 – I did remember what floor I was on – but there were only eight floors. I’m thinking, "That’s odd. There must be another elevator that goes to the higher floors.” I took a stroll around the lobby, and now I’m thinking, “What the heck?” I pulled out my hotel key: Ritz Carlton. I was at the wrong hotel. That’s my story. I know it sounds bad. Tough life. We’re at the Ritz Carlton, not the Four Seasons, but it’s still a funny story.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's happening is Linconceivable

The first time Jeremy Lin played against the University of New Hampshire, he scored five points in 26 minutes as Harvard beat the Wildcats, 83-81, in overtime. He was never spectacular in games against Dartmouth and UNH, and it wasn't a surprise he wasn't drafted. Today Lin has reached a Supernova of stardom with the Knicks, sparking a previously awful team to seven straight wins.

Dartmouth coach Paul Cormier, who previously scouted for Golden State and recommended the Warriors draft Lin in the second round of 2010, said everyone can learn from "Linsanity." My full story is in today's New Hampshire Union Leader.

“He was basically told he wasn’t good enough to play in the NBA when he wasn’t drafted. Now the Knicks haven’t lost with him on the court and there’s a lot of believers, but the reason he is in this position today is because the one person who didn’t give up on him was himself," said Cormier, who gave his Dartmouth team a motivational talk leading up to Friday's game against Yale.
“Some people may have given up on us or given up on you as an individual, and you might think coaches or some teammates have given up on you, but the one thing you cannot do, and Jeremy Lin is the perfect example, is you cannot give up on yourself.”

Jeremy Lin inspires us all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Analytics and anacondas

I like glancing at Blogger analytics and learning about my audience. Since Gray Matter was launched in October, we've had 46,278 visitors from Canada and 39,334 from the United States. Only 146 readers have checked in from Japan, which is strange considering I'm big in Japan, literally. How do people get here? Besides Twitter and Facebook? Well, has sent 5,584 readers and 463. Thank you ... And some of the random Web searches and keywords people have used to find the site:

"Tim Thomas moustache" (119 searches. Seriously)
"Drew Hutchison scouting report" (78). 
"Yu Darvish decision" (76. Too soon?)
"Mark Sobolewski melanoma" (25)
"Vince Wilfork wife" (10 searches. No, really)
"Ricky Romero Rima Fakih breakup" (9)
"Jake Marisnick prospect" (8)
"Anacondas hunt alligator" (1)
"Redcoats from the Revolutionary War" (1)
"Kevin Gray swag" (1)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Proving Ricky Romero is a great sport

Here's a special sports front that was made for Ricky Romero after the Celtics defeated the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals. Though never published, it was part of an inside joke as teammates and the media began ganging up Ricky and love for the Lakers. He actually did wear that Celtics No. 11 shirt (Glen "Big Baby" Davis) during batting practice one day, the result of losing a bet. 

And here is the postgame video of Ricky answering questions while his Lakers are getting crushed in Game 7. Watch the end of the video to see how the Fisher Cats decorated his locker. Brian Jeroloman was a big part of this:

Lineup card from a 2009 game in which Romero took on the Binghamton Mets:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Headlines you'll see from Spring Training

Storylines to watch for at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin:

Media buzz: new closer Sergio Santos. This time he's at big-league camp in Dunedin.
All eyes on: Kyle Drabek. Could be the X Factor to Toronto's rotation.
Rising star: Travis d'Arnaud is creating a nice catching problem for the Jays.
Breaking out: OF Colby Rasmus and 3B Brett Lawrie.
Friendly competition: Eric Thames and Travis Snider in left field.
Protection needed: Jose Bautista's 2011 season was even more impressive when considering his lack of protection. Adam Lind needs a bounce-back season in the five-hole.
Intriguing prospect: Moises Sierra. Earned a spot on the 40-man after a championship Double-A season. Sweet tools.

The view from J.P. Arencibia's crib at Clearwater Beach this spring.
Photo by the mayor of the K2 Swag District.