It has been quite slow around here, indeed. A natural reduction in posting was something I predicted at the end of the baseball season, and now it's really hitting its stride with the NBA and NHL both very early in their seasons, the Patriots undergoing an unforgettable but mediocre season, and Northeastern generally avoiding anything particularly interesting for the past couple weeks. That said, here's your overviews:
The Angels have had a relatively quiet winter thus far. They offered arbitration to every free agent with the exception of Garret Anderson. I'd be surprised if they brought GA back even at a reduced rate and in a more limited role...the corner outfield positions demand better production than even second-half Anderson, and his horrendous starts are handicapping the team. Jon Garland might be smart enough to accept arbitration, although I'd expect the Halos to trade him away before spring training should he decide to go that route. I generally like Jon Garland, but his K/9 rates (among other stats which aren't ERA) spell doom for his future, and at some point the Angels are going to have to hand the fifth starter role to a Mosely/Adenhart type. Better this coming season than 2010, when I expect the A's to contend once again.
The annual GM winter meetings begin shortly, after which I expect to see a little more action on both the free agent and trade markets. I expect the Angels to make a serious run at Jake Peavy, probably packaging Weaver, Aybar, and a mid- to high-level prospect. I still see CC Sabathia as a long shot, as I'm confident the Giants, Brewers, and Yankees would all be ranked higher than Anaheim. The Giants are CC's home team, the Brewers are in the NL with a lot cost of living and no DH (apparently, Sabathia loves hitting), and the Yankees have no concept of fiscal responsibility.
I'm still praying for Marky Mark Teixiera to return. I'd put the odds at around 50/50, and it's going to depend a lot more on which teams are legitimately interested than money or years. IFf Boston decides to dump 2007 World Series MVP and fan favorite Mike Lowell, they probably stand the best chance of landing Tex. That said, I don't see them doing that, particularly when Youkilis' defense at third is far less respectable than his defense at first. The Yankees are another option, but I expect them to exhaust all opportunities to sign/trade for top tier pitching before going after a first baseman. The Nationals and Orioles are also possibilities, but Teixeira has claimed to want to play for a winner, so they seem unlikely, particularly considering their inept ownership makes a rebuilding cycle less cause for optimism.
The Kings are near .500 at 10-11-3. That's promising. Erik Ersberg has been a pleasant surprise, and Jason LaBarbera has been better since returning after a couple weeks off. The Kings have been doing surprisingly well considering the general lack of offense from Anze Kopitar, who leads the team with 18 points but only has 5 goals so far. I've only watched a couple games, but the team is generally competitive, although they've been losing leads in the third period lately.
Hockey East alumnus Brian Boyle has seen limited playing time, playing in 14 games with a goal and no assists. He did lay one hell of a hit on Dion Phaneuf, though, so that's gotta count for something. 20 year-old Wayne Simmonds has been a nice surprise, but touted defenseman Jack Johnson has been out since the second game of the season bum shoulder. He's expected back sometime in the next month or so.
Seemingly the class of the Western Conference, the Lakers just dropped an extremely winnable game to the Indiana Pacers, a team the Boston Celtics routed 114-96 the next night. That said, Kobe and Crew rebounded the following evening with a solid 114-102 win over Philadelphia. In general, the team has relied heavily on a now-deep bench...the second unit has responded admirably. Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Lamar Odom, and Trevor Ariza would likely start on 20 other teams, so having that sort of presence off the bench has been a definite improvement over last year's squad.
Unfortunately, the defense which was tremendous in the first few games has receded some. We'll see if they can pick it up again, otherwise they run the risk of pulling a 2008 in 2009.
The hockey Huskies took a bad 5-3 loss to Princeton in the opening game of the RPI holiday tournament, but rebounded with a solid 5-1 win over RPI in the second game. The team has been coming out flat to start games, and with a Princeton team then ranked at #7, a bad first period is a bad game. Naturally, Princeton lost the title game to Mercyhurst, dropping them from 7 to 9 while the Huskies moved from 4th to 6th.
Tomorrow game is the season series-ending matchup with Maine. Frankly, Northeastern shouldn't have a hard time beating the Black Bears, despite Maine's 7-game unbeaten streak before their most recent game, a 3-2 loss to Vermont. Joe Vitale, absent from the lineup against RPI, should be returning to the top line and hopefully to top form.
To the men's basketball team, a chant from the 2008 Beanpot: "Wake the fuck up *clap*clap*clapclapclap*"