Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fixing a Broke System

Every sport league tends to have the same problem. Bad teams making it to the playoffs while good teams are at home. This year the NFC South is most likely going to have a team make the playoffs with a sub 500 record while a team in another division with a winning record won't make it. In basketball the Eastern Conference will have roughly 3-4 teams make the playoffs while in the West Conference there are arguably 10 teams that have the ability to make the playoffs. How entertaining would it be if only winning teams made the playoffs? I'm not suggesting realigning all the divisions or conferences I'm suggesting that the playoffs shouldn't allow teams with a losing record to make it.

In basketball the top 16 records make the playoffs. In football the top 12 records make it. In baseball the top 10 make it. It would make winning the divisions a bit less important, but there can be caveats placed to reward the teams with the better records like home field advantage. Teams with losing records make at least on playoff series or game unappealing. The teams with losing records don't deserve to make the playoffs year in and year out. Especially in basketball the playoffs would be much better had the Western Conference gotten the slots given to the Eastern Conference teams that had a losing record last season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Real MVP

Watching football this past weekend the real MVP made his case even stronger and yet he's most likely not going to even be a thought when it comes to award time. JJ Watt had a sack, a strip fumble, a fumble recovery, and then a receiving touchdown all in one game. This isn't the first time he's done this in a game this season. Watt has 11 and a half sacks and has 4 touchdowns on the season that's unheard of for a player that plays on the defensive side of the ball. He's even returned an interception for a touchdown. The season Watt is having is definitely MVP worthy, but since he doesn't play the pretty boy position (Quarterback) the award most likely is going to go to either Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning. This isn't me writing about how the quarterbacks don't deserve to win the award, but explaining why Watt should win the award.

The Houston Texans are 6-6 not destined for the playoffs while Rodgers, Brady, and Manning are leading their respective teams to the playoffs and they all have the ability to make other players better, but the award is veered toward the most valued player on the team and it's a shame that it has turned into an offensive player's award. I'd love to see Watt walk away with the MVP, he's had an impact on the Texans defense that might equal the same impact that Brady and co have on the offensive side of the ball. The defensive player of the year should walk away with the MVP, but it'll forever the pretty boy's time to shine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time to Save This Kid's Career

I don't know how many posts I've written about Derrick Rose, but I think it's time that there be a change in how Rose plays the game. Coming off of two years of being a bystander and countless jokes at his (and the Bulls') expense it's time for Rose to stop putting his body through the torture that is his game. The whole "drive to the basket and get the foul" way of him playing is destroying his body and at 26 years old Rose should be able to play several games in a row. Right now Rose can't even play two games back to back without his body reacting negatively and that's when Rose has to sit for more games. Rose is too young to get the Tim Duncan treatment from coach Thibodeau. The way San Antonio coach Popovich treats the aging players on his roster is genius because they're well into their NBA careers, well into their 30's and Rose is, like I said, 26.

I understand telling Rose to reign it in is difficult because he won an MVP going 100mph and going so hard when he has the ball, but for his own sakes I'm hoping that he incorporates more of Chris Paul's game into his. Instead of being a Russell Westbrook type of point guard maybe it's time Rose dials it back, pace the floor, find his open teammates, and become more of a traditional point guard. So that he can be at his son's graduation without any soreness as Rose himself said he wants to do when he's older, he's going to have to adjust his game. Rose is not only doing himself harm he's doing the Bulls harm because the team is better when he's on the floor and with him missing every other game because of nagging injuries isn't helping. Especially when his teammates are playing through nagging injuries that has to irk fans, Thibodeau, and teammates.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How the Mighty have Fallen..

The Los Angeles Lakers were once a proud team. Their history contains names like James Worthy, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabber, and Kobe Bryant all of whom are in the Hall of Fame or Hall of Fame bound in Kobe's case. Today's Lakers are relying on "Swaggy P" who's Swaggy P you may be wondering he's a 7 year player out of the University of Southern California who's real name is Nick Young (where he got the "P" from I have no idea). The Lakers haven't had the same string of success that they enjoyed under former owner Jerry Buss during the current ownership of his son Jim Buss who hasn't shown the same value for winning that his father once had. It's a more depressing version of what's going on in the Bronx with the Steinbrenner ownership group.

While yes no team's stretch of success lasts forever these Lakers are running the chance of becoming the clowns of the Association and the once proud name of the Lakers will not be worth as much as they did before. It didn't help that the Lakers drove out Dwight Howard who could've been the next star in purple n gold. Whether that be because Dwight Howard wasn't made to play in LA or because Kobe didn't make the necessary overtures to Howard to actually get him in the fold or maybe the Lakers should've waited for Howard to be healthy. Whatever the case may be the Lakers lost out on a star player which rarely happened back in the Jerry Buss times. While the Clippers have become the bigger draw at the Staples Center the Lakers have become the little brother so to speak. I'm not asking for a change in ownership (yet), but for now the Lakers name is going to be dependent on Swaggy P and the usual shot happy Kobe.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Party Like It's 1985?

The Kansas City Royals have made it to the World Series for the first time since 1985 and I couldn't be happier for the fans and the players. The Royals have been the butt of many jokes over the last 29 years and all that can be forgotten once they win that elusive ring. Whether it be the Giants or the Cardinals I believe the Royals have what it takes to beat either team. That Royals' bullpen has been lock down all postseason and the small ball tactics have been beneficial towards the Royals, whether that be bunting runners over or sacrificing themselves to set up the next batter in line to have runners in scoring position or stealing bases which has been looked down upon since the number guys have called stealing bases a bad thing, but yet it all has worked for Ned Yost and the Royals.

The Royals don't have household names, the Royals aren't a big market team, the Royals win unconventionally for the AL. The biggest name on the team is probably James Shields who pitches once maybe twice in a series something that bothers "fans" who don't follow the sport, but how can you not root for the team that has gone as long as I have been alive? People need to watch this team play and appreciate what fans of the sport have been appreciating for quite a while now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh Man, Ray

Domestic violence is never acceptable. One person putting their hands on another should never be an option, but yet these things happen. And when these things happen in public it's even uglier. Ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice got caught on an elevator knocking out his now wife with a sneaky left hook and after he hit her she hit her head on a pole in the elevator which lead to her losing consciousness and then eventually being dragged out of the elevator by her now husband. The NFL's initial punishment for Rice was just 2 games. That was a joke of a punishment since the same NFL suspended Cleveland Browns' wide receiver Josh Gordon for a full year after he tested positive for marijuana something that is legal in two states.

ESPN and other gas bags are now going too far; asking for  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's job. Did he make a mistake? Yes, he did. Did he make up for said mistake? In my eyes yes, he did. He changed the punishment for domestic violence violations to six unpaid games and eventually banished Ray Rice from playing after the Ravens released him. Those are steps that should have been done before this accident because there have been many other players with the same violation as Rice, but since there has never been a video that leaked out like this they have been able to skate without the amount of scrutiny that Rice and his wife and the NFL have been seeing in these last few days. Goodell shouldn't get fired, he made the necessary changes in punishment that players definitely need to wise up when they go to lift their hands against their mates.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little League vs. the Majors

Now that the Little League World Series is over and the people that were caught up in the moment have a chance to now breathe let's delve into many of the comments and irrational thinking I've heard in that week. I heard things from little leaguers (one especially, but I'll get to her) should be getting paid, I heard that MLB ought to look to little league for ways to make the majors better. I heard that there was more drama in little league than there was in MLB. The biggest insult was that little leaguers should be getting paid. College sports players should be the ones getting paid; basketball and football rake in millions on top of millions in endorsements and TV deals and while head coaches are getting paid millions their star players have to scrap to eat. That's not fair. Coaches can't buy students food, rich people who donate millions to help schools can't help these starving players, yet 11 and 12 year olds deserve to get paid? I don't think so.

Who knew Mo'Ne Davis two weeks ago? Besides her friends and family no one and now she is supposed to be the eventual first female player to make it to the majors? Doubt it. Even though her goal is to become a point guard in the University of Connecticut I heard people saying that she should continue to develop and make it to the majors and a "junk ball" lefty. How many junk ball lefties are out there looking for work? And yet she's supposed to make it just because she's a female? Not that I'm knocking Mo'Ne who I hope goes on and live a fantastic life, but she's not going to be the next Jaime Moyer. And why was the little league so much more dramatic because the basic plays that are made everyday in the majors don't get made by 11 and 12 year olds who are on national TV for the first time in their lives. Little league was fun for the one week it was on TV, but now let's get back to the professionals.      

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baseball is Really Unfair Right Now

It sucks being a pull hitter in the majors. When opposing defenses line up with more than two defenders on one side of the field it is damn near impossible for a hitter to get a regular hit. Regular hits (aka singles) make up a large chunk of hitter's batting average and having all these defenders on one side is unfair to hitters. It already is one sided with all these power arms coming out of everywhere to pitch, throwing 95+ mph on a regular basis and now hitters can't even enjoy a hitting single because there are 3 defenders on one side. The argument that hitters should adjust the way they hit to punish these shifts is nonsense. A major league veteran whose whole career was built on the line drive or ground ball to left or right for a uptick in batting average isn't about to start bunting to left or right side. So it shouldn't be a surprise that offense is down to a historic low now that defensive shifts are robbing hitters left and right of hits that would help infuse some more entertainment and action into a game that is mostly described as "boring".

A 2-1 or 1-0 game is the most entertaining baseball game to me, but it never hurts to watch an action packed 8-3 or 11-9 ball game from time to time. Watching David Ortiz, Brian McCann, and others struggle with getting on base is not what their fans want to go watch or their front office is paying them for. When offense is down fans don't watch and complaints about how long games are flair up and defensive shifts are partially to blame for why. I would gladly get rid of shifts and let defenses play the way they traditionally have been with shading one way or the other. Shading is when a defender takes a step or two in a certain direction to help cover up a hole, but to have him swing all the way around to the other side is insane. It's time to make baseball a bit more fair and more fun to watch.   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The New Generation of NBA Player

It wasn't too long ago when NBA players seemed to be playing well into their 30's some into their early 40's. Now with kids getting into the league younger and younger they're becoming the seasoned vets in their 20's. The worst thing, in my opinion, the NBA did was let players hop straight from high school into the association. Not only are they not really NBA ready they're 18/19 years old meaning the clock starts on their careers and they'll be out before they even notice. Dwayne Wade is 31/32 years old and he just might've signed his second to last deal in the NBA. Sure Wade played basketball with reckless abandon and that may have taken some years off his career, but I still think if more players waited until their body, and more importantly minds were NBA ready they'd last a lot longer.

Kobe Bryant has been in the association for 19 years. That's something to marvel at and he just might be the last player to last so long. Let's not forget that Kobe has been to Europe on numerous occasions to get special treatments on both his knees just so he can get another chance at getting that elusive 6th championship. Michael Jordan who Kobe is usually compared to also played 19 years, but he spent 3 years out of the sport between his 1 year of minor league baseball with the White Sox and the 2 years before he decided to join the Wizards, so in total Jordan was around the sport for 20+ years. Today's player plays in a softer NBA and yet they don't last as long as the old school guys who played in the rough and tumble times.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who's Gonna be the First Domino to Fall?

With about a month to go before the MLB trade deadline there are several tight races throughout the majors and not many teams are already out of the race, but in a handful of cities the writing should already be on the walls. The question is who's gonna be the first to throw in the white flag on this season? These teams have plenty to offer teams that are in the race, but are they ready to tell their fans that this year doesn't matter anymore? How does Ruben Amaro tell Phillie fans that this year is over? The passionate fans in Philadelphia aren't really keen on losing especially after their recent runs of success. The Diamondbacks began the season with inspirations to at least compete against the highly funded Dodgers and the scrappy Giants, but unfortunately the DBacks all them injuries were too much to overcome.

So who throws in the towel and start selling off pieces? And by pieces I mean players (because at the end of it all that's what players really are... pieces). The Phillies and the DBacks are just 2 of about a handful of teams who should up the "For Sale" sign. Chase Utley could help a contender, any veteran not named Goldschmidt can help a contender, any of the countless veterans on the Cleveland Indians could help a contender as well. What fan base would show up when their team is in "sell now" mode? Maybe the most dedicated or maybe those trying to save a buck or two, but I'm waiting on that first white flag before the gates swing open.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Dilemma that is The DL

Welcome to one of the main issues that face major league managers, dealing with the disabled list. The Washington Nationals have the face of their franchise (Bryce Harper) on his way back from a thumb injury, but in his absence the Nationals covered for his not being there by moving Ryan Zimmerman (who was also coming back from his own stint on the DL) to left field which allowed the Nationals to keep one of their hottest hitters in Anthony Rendon in the lineup everyday and playing 3rd base. Now, with Harper on the verge of coming back what is Matt Williams going to do? Zimmerman has excelled in left field, Rendon is looking like their future third baseman, and Adam LaRoche has been as consistent at first base as anybody.

The one thing that helps Williams is that his guys are versatile. Zimmerman once played third (even though he has had problems getting the ball across the diamond), Rendon can play second base, and Harper can play any of the outfield positions, but who is going to sit? Denard Span is the leadoff hitter and starter in center field, Span sets the table for the guys behind him and plays gold glove caliber defense, it'll be difficult to solve this issue. None of the players wants to sit and the face of the franchise has to play. I'm looking forward to seeing how Williams configures his lineup once Harper is back.         

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why I'm not Enthralled with These NBA Finals

The legacies of both LeBron James and Tim Duncan are going to rise whether they win or lose. Tim Duncan doesn't have much more to prove in his hall of fame career and LeBron is still young enough to continue to build upon his legacy whether it be with Miami or not. There is no guarantee that if Tim Duncan were to win these Finals he'd make loud mouth Mark Cuban happy by retiring. In fact, I don't think Duncan would retire even if he won because he's not declining, he may be playing less minutes, but he's not declining. Duncan's player efficiency rating was in the top 20 in the NBA this past season. Top 20 is impressive for a player Tim Duncan's age since most players his age would be lining up their next career as basketball announcers or analysts.

In my lifetime, I've seen a team three-peat twice and I've seen several other teams dominate the league and capture multiple championships. There is no parity in this league. There are just a handful of teams that have won the championship in the last ten years. So watching one team that has dominated recently and one that has had spurts of dominance since the mid-2000's isn't really interesting to me. Do I care if the Heat become a dynasty? Not really. Do I care if the old guys walk away with their 5th title? No. When a true underdog makes it to the Finals that's when I'll feel compelled to watch.      

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nothing in Life is Free and that Includes Domination

A couple of years ago it was the year of the pitcher, with pitchers dominating hitters making professional hitters look silly, but now it's the year of the Tommy John. With an insane number of pitchers being put on the shelf with the surgery it has become the price of the year of the pitcher. Nothing is free and that includes domination. When hitters were going off hitting home run after home run the price was the steroids aftermath with a whole generation of hitters ruined by suspicion on steroid use with hitters like Mike Piazza (the greatest offensive catcher) still standing with his hat in his hands waiting to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. And now it's the pitchers' turn to pay. The price is high with several pitchers bound to lose a whole year while they're in recovery mode and teams are left to scramble around to find a replacement.

Tommy John surgery will forever be an issue for baseball because it's not normal for a human arm to constantly throw baseballs at 95mph plus and it always seems like teams have 3-4 pitchers in their bullpen and/or rotation that throw flames. Usually it's the hard throwers that end up getting the surgery. The price of domination is costly and teams are finding out how expensive it is because with the amount of players on the disabled list because of surgeries there can be rotation after rotation of all star pitchers. So here's to the year of Tommy John and no I don't mean the old pitcher.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are the Angels hurting Trout?

Anaheim Angel outfielder Mike Trout is the best overall player in the majors, but the Angels are doing him a disservice by batting him in front Albert Pujols. Mike Trout has all the tools needed. Since being brought up he has hit for average, has hit for power, played a magnificent center field, has the arm to play any of the outfield positions, and where the Angels are messing up with having Pujols bat behind Trout is his speed. With every season since his call up Trout's stolen bases have dropped from 49 in his first full season to on pace for 18 this season. So what Pujols have to do about this? With a power hitter batting behind Trout there is less of a chance that Trout is giving the steal sign because then the opposing pitcher is just going to walk Pujols.

So Trout is sacrificing one of his tools to help Pujols see more pitches. Sure Trout would or should see better pitches with Pujols batting behind him, but is it worth watching a phenom like Trout having to go station to station (or base to base) just so that Pujols gets more pitches? There was nothing better than watching Mike Trout steal second. There was something special of watching Mike Trout use them wheels to turn a single into a triple because he has the skills to steal second and third. The season is still in it's early phases, let's see when the Angels get healthier and the lineup gets closer to where manager Mike Scioscia dreamed it up at the end of Spring Training whether Trout is going to be able to unleash them wheels from the garage they're in now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's Tough to Ruin a Perfect Thing

Brad Ausmus is the new manager of the Detroit Tigers. How lucky is he? Talk about hitting the lotto Ausmus has Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Max Scherzer, and let's not forget Justin Verlander in his rotation/everyday lineup. Oh, plus Ausmus has kept pretty much the whole coaching staff that his predecessor the great Jim Leyland put together. There is no easier job in the majors than the one Brad Ausmus was hired for. They're good and ready for a World Series, all Ausmus has to do is let the coaches coach and let his former MVPs and Cy Young winners do their thing and with Dave Dombrowski running the show they'll always have the parts needed like Ian Kinsler and Joe Nathan who were brought in to sure up the two glaring needs the Tigers had this past offseason.

Ausmus shouldn't be in consideration for manager of the year. He's like Joe Torre toward the end of his run in New York when Brian Cashman loaded up those Yankee rosters with all stars and Torre let his coaches coach and let the stars shine. The Tigers are loaded. The Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, and any other team that is ready to compete for the AL crown are going to have to deal with the Tigers and at this point in time I'll take the Tigers and not look back. The Tigers are the best team in the majors at this point in time and they should there throughout this long season and Ausmus is just going along for the ride.

Monday, May 19, 2014

To Melo or to Love?

This offseason there's going to be two key potentially available players who can change the faith of several different NBA franchises. Once Carmelo Anthony opts out of his deal with the New York Knicks Carmelo will lead the free agent class until the Minnesota Timberwolves decide to put Kevin Love on the market. Of course it isn't going to be easy to reel in either of these stars considering that there is still a very small chance that both Carmelo or Love won't get to change jerseys since Carmelo can opt back in for his last season in New York and the Timberwolves can decide that they're going to give their GM one more chance to build a contender around Kevin Love before he's able to opt out of his deal.

Already there are rumblings that Kevin Love's "people" are asking the Timberwolves to trade Love and already there has been whispers about how Love would (no pun intended) love to play in Los Angeles (where he's from) and how he would be interested in playing in New York. 2015 will be interesting if both of these players are still on their respective teams since they could, in essence, team up on one team. The impact of Carmelo and Kevin on one team would make any one team an instant title contender, but in reality these two guys will be in different jerseys to start the upcoming 2014 season.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Second Not Gonna be as Close as the First

The first round of the NBA playoffs was full of dramatic games. Game 7 after game 7 overtime game after overtime game, but I don't think this second round is going to be as dramatic. The Wizards are better than the Pacers (especially since the Pacers have found a way to collapse) the size in the paint by the Wizards is going to overwhelm the lackluster Roy Hilbbert and the undersized, but huge hearted, David West. The Clippers, ever since the fiasco with Donald Sterling have been playing with the support from fans everywhere and have used that as motivation and the Oklahoma City Thunder with the recently dubbed MVP of the NBA just doesn't have enough to keep up with the Clippers. The Portland Trailblazers laid an egg against the San Antonio Spurs last night ands that's what I expect of that series to be like.

The closest possible series in the second round is going to be the Brooklyn Nets against the Miami Heat. These two teams match up much pretty well, but LeBron James is going to be the difference maker since the Nets don't really have anybody who can stop him when he turns it on like he did in game 1. The Nets with Joe Johnson has someone who can keep scoring with LeBron, but Johnson can be stopped faster than LeBron can. The drama is gone for this round of the playoffs in my opinion, but the next round should be much more entertaining when the Clippers face the Spurs and the Wizards face the Heat.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Exacty can Silver do?

When a commissioner is brought on board to run a league they have to get the blessing if not of all the owners, at the very least the majority of owners. So in essence the commissioner is a direct employee of the owners. Allegedly, Donald Sterling (owner of the Los Angeles Clippers) over the weekend came out with egregious, racial remarks towards African American and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson. The question is what can new NBA commissioner Adam Silver can so? In my 20-someodd years of watching professional sports I've never heard of a commissioner forcing an owner to sell his/her team. Owners have been suspended from leagues, but never has been forced by a commissioner to sell. Have owners been the "bad guy" absolutely, have owners taken leave from their teams sure, but a commissioner can't force anything but a suspension.

Fellow owners and fans can be a more driving force against Donald Sterling, on the other hand. If fellow owners put pressure on Sterling maybe that can force him out. Fans can stop buying Clippers gear or stop going to the game, that can be another option (but fans will still go to Clippers game since the Clippers are in a tight playoff showdown with the Golden State Warriors). So what exactly can anybody do to make this alleged racist understand that he has to change his point of view? If the commish doesn't have the power to curtail Sterling's influence on his team and his wife can't force him out then the best thing is a suspension and yet Sterling still wins because he'll probably continue to get paid off the backs of people he doesn't even like.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

If Everyone is Doing it is it Really Wrong?

Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda got caught with pine tar on his neck last night against the Red Sox and ex-pitchers are coming out of the woodwork defending Pineda saying that pitchers have always used one substance or another to help grip a baseball in cold weather. Ironically, last night Red Sox pitcher John Lackey is seen licking his hand rubbing his forearm and then rubbing up a baseball he was about to deliver, but he wasn't caught. Is it fair for pitchers to get away with rubbing foreign substances on any baseball before it's delivered? No, that's why Pineda was tossed once the umpire noticed that it was pine tar on his neck. There are rules against doctoring baseballs and Pineda broke it as did Lackey for all I know.

My issue is why is this not more looked after? Apparently there are pitchers all over the league putting stuff in places to help conceal the foreign substances that they're going to use when they're rubbing down a baseball. There has to be more oversight over this. A pitcher in the Astros bullpen was caught spraying his forearm with something before he went out onto the mound in a game earlier this season and no one bats an eye. Pitchers are cheating and apparently it's ok with MLB, the umpires, and even the opposing players because it's a wink wink secret because my pitcher is doing it too. Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't want to go and complain to the umpire, Red Sox and Yankee players were smirking about it and if it weren't because it was so obvious Pineda probably gets away with it... AGAIN, hopefully this opens Joe Torres' eyes and something happens to level the playing field.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Better to be a Homer or a Bandwagon fan?

Considering the list of teams that I am a fan of I can see how someone can consider me to be a bandwagon fan, but how much worse it to being a bandwagon fan than it is to be a homer. A homer (for those that don't know) is a fan who is a fan of every team from the place that they're from. So for example, a New York homer would be a fan of the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Giants, Jets, and even the Islanders yes that's a lot of teams, but that's New York for ya. So is it better to be a fan of 8 teams or being a die hard fan of a team that isn't in New York? That's the dilemma that I face on a regular basis. I've got to defend my fandom of all the teams that just so happen don't play in NY. I'd rather be a dedicated fan of one team that so happens to play outside of the city limits than in one night cheering for two different teams whose fans don't even like each other.

A bandwagon fan (to me at least) would be a fan who becomes a fan because said team is constantly winning and the fan would then hop to another team once the initial team starts to lose. If a fan becomes a fan and continues to be a fan even when the team starts to lose then how can that be a bandwagon fan? I've been a proud fan of these teams for 15 years plus, that beats the "bandwagon" label. But a homer is a homer. A homer will defend these local clubs because that's what makes sense to them so if they have to defend the Mets and the Yankees at the same time they will because that's what they feel like they have to do.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Mess in the West

A while back I made the case for the Golden State Warriors as my title favorites thinking that the addition of Andre Iguodala would catapult them into the title, but then they decided to allow over 100 points per game and turn the ball over like they don't want to play offense. And now with David Lee's nagging injury and Andrew Bogut disappearing from time to time I'm not sure how far the Warriors are going to go. The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking more and more like a football team with two quarterbacks and when you have two quarterbacks in the NFL you really have none. I don't like Russell Westbrook playing along side Kevin Durant, but yet the Thunder need Westbrook if they want to win the title this year and beyond.

Which brings me to the quiet yet most consistent team in the West in the San Antonio Spurs. Coach Popovich has the Spurs going again at one point reeling off 19 wins in a row; something Coach Pop didn't really care much about removing his stars (Tim Duncan and Tony Parker) with three minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter without having them come back into the game when the Spurs could've walked away with their 20th straight win and a win over a competitor who they can see in the playoffs. The goal for the Spurs all year has been to win the title they missed out on last year when Ray Allen made the 3-pointer that started the Spurs' downfall and what that means to Coach Pop is if he has to rest his stars against top notch opponents he will no matter what the commissioner has to say about that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

To Cap or Not to Cap... That is The Question

Miguel Cabrera signed a huge 30 million per year extension with the Detroit Tigers. The same Detroit Tigers offered Max Scherzer 144M over 6 years. The Dodgers have a 200+ million dollar payroll and signed their ace Clayton Kershaw to the richest deal for pitchers. The Yankees shelled out an amazing amount of money for Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka  and Jacoby Ellsbury to bounce back after they missed the playoffs for only the second time since 1996. In no other sport can there be such reckless spending on players. In the NBA and NFL teams have to keep an eye on the salary cap because that's the most they can spend in baseball teams laugh at that notion.

It isn't because the owners wouldn't want a salary cap, but it's because the MLB player's union is the strongest union and would never allow for a salary cap to be imposed. And to an extent if the players aren't getting paid then the owners are pocketing all that money and the players would tend to suffer. There will never be a lawsuit against MLB as there was against NFL because players are compensated like no other players in any other sport. I wouldn't want to see a salary cap in MLB even if it means salaries will rise though the roof because it's too late to open Pandora's box.     

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Turf Sucks this Isn't a Secret

For years players have complained about how it's terrible playing on turf. About how the ball goes faster on turf than on natural grass, and how turf is the worst on joints. Jose Reyes has become the latest victim of playing on turf. As many injuries as Jose Reyes had when he played in Queens on none turf it seems like he can't play 1 game without limping or grabbing at his joints. Last night on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays Jose Reyes, while playing on Tampa's turf, strained his hamstring causing an early season DL stint for Jose. One of the exciting players in the majors is sitting for 15 games because the evil turf monster.

Toronto and Tampa are the only teams in the majors that use artificial turf and are the only ones that are still enclosed domes. When are these closed dome stadiums are going to find a suitable replacement for turf? You can't tell me there hasn't been any advancement in the field of fake grass which would help athletes stay on the field. So now it's going to take 15 games for one of the most exciting players in the majors to come back, play on turf, and then get hurt again thanks to the turf monster.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Who to Believe...

It came out on Sunday that the Detroit Tigers offered reigning Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer a long term contract (rumored to be in the 144 million dollar range) yet Scherzer or his agent turned down the offer. Yet word from Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, says that it was Scherzer who made the Tigers an offer and they (the Tigers) turned it down. Who do you believe? Can you imagine a player who's 29, who's going to be a free agent at the end of the year, and is offered a 144M extension and they turn it down? One thing I can see is Scott Boras telling his agent "Don't accept that, you'll get more than that when you're on the market." but if (according to Boras' statement) Scherzer is so happy to play in Detroit and alongside the teammates he has then why not let him sign for the 144?

Personally, I don't think Scherzer is going to have the same kind of season he's had in recent years, and if that's the case passing on the 144 just might've been a mistake. Now whether he wants to accept it or not there's more pressure on Scherzer to perform well because if he (or his agent) thinks that he's worth more than the 144 that was offered then having less than stellar numbers is going to be unacceptable. Scherzer and his representation maybe betting on himself a bit more than the Tigers are, but still 144 Million dollars is nothing to sneeze at.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

22 and Counting

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 22 games in a row. Last night losing to the Bulls 102 - 94 and with the suddenly hot New York Knicks coming to town it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Sixers can set the league record with at least 27 in a row. The current record is 26 which was set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. Can the Sixers really be this bad? The simple answer is yes. The Sixers moved the only real talent to Indiana in a trade of Evan Turner for scraps. When the season started everyone knew that the Sixers were going to be a bad team because tanking has become a strategy for bad teams to building a hopeful contender. With the Sixers losing those 22 games it's a surprise that they don't have the worst record in the league that honor belongs to Milwaukee Bucks who have won a paltry 13 games this season.

Tanking is not a viable way to build a team just ask Dan Gilbert, the big mouth owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who has been tanking for the best shot at the number 1 overall pick in the draft every season since LeBron took his talents to South Beach. The reason I say "best shot" is because unlike other leagues the NBA uses a lottery for it's worse teams to decide who is going to win the number 1 pick. That's what the Sixers are trying to do, trying to get the most ping pong balls with their name on it and hope they get that 1st pick. I feel bad for the fans in Philly considering that the Sixers have had a rich history when it comes to basketball and now they're just counting how many more loses the Sixers can rack up in a row. 22 and counting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And Imagine if they Had Melo...

The Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat on Sunday in overtime with Joakim Noah leading the way with his energetic play and his 20 points 12 rebounds 7assists and 5 blocks helped propel his name into the MVP conversation (even though he doesn't want that kind of attention). If only the Bulls had a legit scorer that wasn't hurt and was able to take and make his own shots and average 30 - 35 points per game. Oh wait, there's a player in New York who's wasting 40 point games on a team that's so desperate for either positive attention or grasping at straws by hiring Phil Jackson to be a part of their front office. Said player is Carmelo Anthony who is averaging 28 points per game and is the type of player that the Bulls can use to become an even more legit contender for the NBA title.

The reason Carmelo would work in Chicago is because the Bulls have a real coach that runs a tight ship. In Chicago, Melo wouldn't have to be the Man because he would just be a cog in the machine and not the whole machine as he is in New York and with a player like Rose who (when healthy) is an offensive force in his own right and with Noah in the paint who plays defense, grabs rebounds, and is just a pain in the back side to opposing players in the paint they can team up and forge a new "big three" to contend for NBA titles for a long time and that's what Melo should be interested in because eventually the seat he's sitting on should get as hot as LeBron James' seat was before he got his titles.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

If Only Mr. Smith

A couple of days ago hall of famer Ozzie Smith said that he would like to make Opening Day a national holiday and as much as I am for it (being that baseball is my overall favorite sport) it's a bit too late. Sadly, football has become the more popular sport in America and if any sport would have that happen it would be for football. I can see the Super Bowl becoming a national holiday faster than Opening Day in MLB. Ozzie makes the point that people usually "play hookie" to go to the game anyways so why not just make it a national holiday? It would've been nice say 30 years or so ago when baseball was still the national pastime, but like I said that title now belongs to football, just ask ESPN.

Another flaw in Ozzie's suggestion is that most teams have their opening day celebration at night since there are more night games now in baseball than ever before. And since I feel that Ozzie is targeting the 9-5 working crowd, night games kind of takes the wind out of that sail since they'll be able to go once they're out of work. So as much as I appreciate the enthusiasm from Ozzie Smith I know that I'll be headed to work on Opening Day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Baseball Free Agency isn't Really Free

When you think about free agency you think about how a player has his choice of where he wants to go play, but that's wrong. In baseball, if you're a valued player you get attached to a draft pick and in today's landscape that draft pick (and the money attached to said draft pick) is everything especially to teams that are rebuilding. So teams like the Cubs and the Astros aren't about to pay a player what he's asking for if he's attached to a draft pick because then they'd have to give up the draft pick which like I said is very valuable. There are teams that don't care about losing draft picks teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and the Orioles (who have given up two draft picks in signing both Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz this offseason).

Yet there are still some major names that are free agents because of the draft pick issue. Ervin Santana, Kendrys Morales, and Stephen Drew are all out on the open market. There has been countless of rumors about all of these players, but because teams overvalue these draft picks and they're not willing to sign a player that can help them win now. The Mets were rumored to be in on Drew, but they'd rather go with a draft pick than with Drew who could help them not end the upcoming season in last place in the NL East. Santana can help countless teams, but teams would rather take a flier on a high school or college kid who may or may not make it to the show. The one thing that the ever powerful baseball union hasn't been able to get rid of in all of the Collective Bargaining negotiations is draft pick compensation for players and until that happens there won't be any real free agency for the cream of the crop.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Will Joe Put Up A Smart Lineup?

This weekend the Yankees signed left fielder Brett Gardner to a 4 year 52 million dollar deal and immediately I thought "Who's going to bat second?" with the offseason signing of Jacoby Ellsbury to a ridiculous 7 year 153M to bat lead off and play center field the Yankees have put Girardi in an interesting position. A 1-2 punch of Ellsbury and Gardner at top of the lineup would be a dream for any manager in the majors, but unlike other managers Girardi has to deal with the retiring legend in No. 2 Derek Jeter. If I were Girardi I would think Jeter would be best batting 6-8 in the lineup. With newcomers Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano who should be fixed to hit 3-5 in the lineup and the returning Mark Texeira who would fit in the 6 hole in the lineup I don't see how Jeter should be in the top 3 in the lineup. 

But considering that this is Jeter's swan song I don't know what Girardi is going to do. How upset would fans be if they come to the ballpark and find out that Jeter is batting 7th, 8th, or 9th? He'd still be playing shortstop (or DH), but would the outrage against Girardi be really that loud? Last season the Yankees didn't make the playoffs and this year they invested HEAVILY into this year's (and several other years') payroll so would having a black hole batting second (a 73% ground ball rate in his last full season and a career 272 double plays) be what's good for the team? Considering that Ellsbury gets on base plenty of times (when healthy) would having a double play machine in Jeter be wise when Gardner would be way more difficult to double off since he can fly down the line? Good luck to Joe on deciding whether No. 2 will bat 2... or 7th.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hands Down Man Down

After watching the NBA All-Star game are people actually surprised that the game set a record for points scored? The new strategy in the NBA isn't "Me stopping you. It's me scoring more than you" and there is a difference between the two. This style of play tends to lay on the side of offensive players like Carmelo Anthony (who set a record for three pointers in last night's All-Star game). Just think of the rosters of both teams how many players are actually known for playing defense? There was no Tyson Chandler in the paint, there was no full court press. Sure, Joakim Noah plays defense, but that wasn't going to happen in this game which is also why he didn't play that many minutes in the ASG.

The game is soft. The players are soft. Their motto is I'll see your two points and raise you three. I'm surprised refs even brought whistles to the game. Watching the game it quickly turned into a track meet. When one team scored the opposing team got the ball to half court in under a second and the race was on. I understand that it's an All-Star game and since it doesn't mean anything (in terms of overall season success) the players have a right to try plays that aren't usually allowed in an actual game like big men shooting three pointers or point guards tossing alley oops from any part of the court. Many viewers didn't have a problem with the lack of defense since they enjoy all the crazy alley oops and stuff like that, but there is another side of the game that isn't promoted by all the events during the All-Star weekend and it definitely showed last night.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Roc is in the Building

When Jay-Z formed Roc Nation Sports in conjunction with CAA (Creative Arts Agency) a talent agency based in LA I thought the tides were about to change in sports representation especially when Jay-Z got his hands on then-Yankee Robinson Cano. Cano was Roc Nation's first big test and Cano landed a 10 year 240 million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners which was is a huge success wince no one in the industry thought of Cano in that salary range so credit Roc Nation for getting their client the best deal possible. After Cano Roc Nation got their hands on WNBA player Skylar Diggins, NFL quarterback Geno Smith, and, the biggest name since Cano, Kevin Durant.

What Roc Nation can do for these other athletes is yet to be seen, but the names continue to grow on the Roc Nation roster now that NFL defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has signed on. Jay-Z has continued to increase the brand of Roc Nation and has been grabbing big names from all parts of the sports world and it's going to continue to grow especially if Roc Nation keeps getting these types of deals for athletes. The marketing aspect of the Roc Nation brand should continue to attract many more athletes since that's what Jay-Z is best known for outside of his rapping career. I wouldn't be surprised if Cano is on a bunch of commercials in Seattle which equals a bunch of checks that goes to Cano and a cut to Roc Nation.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kudos to Mr. Sam, but the Challenge Lies Ahead

Ex-Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out and told the world that he is gay. That's huge in the NFL since the macho culture of the NFL has traditionally kept such announcements under wraps, but Sam thought that it was the right time for him to make his announcement. Now the biggest test for Sam will be whether he will get drafted by a team and in what round. There are teams out there that have had gay players in their locker room, but none have been open about it and as much support as Sam has gotten on Twitter from current or former NFL players I think the ignorant folks will have their say. Whether it be ignorant statements through the media or just play ol' ignorant chants from the stands. If Sam isn't like Vince Young who couldn't take all the attacks from fans he should be fine, but that's if he's drafted.

A couple years back an active player in the NFL made anti-gay comments during a radio interview and he was slaughtered on Twitter, but there was no fine or suspension from the league. There are still ignorant people in the NFL as there are in society in general so I'm not sure if there is going to be a general manager out there who is willing to take on the distraction of having the "first openly gay player" in professional American sports. That is a huge title for a sport that's known for (like I mentioned earlier) it's macho culture. Good for Sam for coming out and being ready to take on the challenge, but he shouldn't be surprised if he's either the last pick in the draft or go undrafted all together.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Before Pitchers and Catchers there's the Caribbean World Series

Every year before pitchers and catchers report to major league Spring training there's the Caribbean World Series. Four different countries and one Caribbean territory have their own winter leagues and the champion from those respective leagues get together and meet up in one of these places to play each other to decide which team is the best for that year. The participants for the tournament are The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico. The traditional strength of these nations (and territory in Puerto Rico's case) is baseball and for them to get together and play their yearly tournament is fun to watch especially in the strange time when the football season is over and spring training is still so far away.

What is the most fun to watch is how different the ambiance is between the major league game and the Caribbean game. Where the majors tend to be more business like, the stands during these Caribbean games are the opposite. A more festive surrounding with music, cheerleaders, and a more active and animated crowd makes the games much more entertaining especially during rivalry games like when Puerto Rico plays the Dominican Republic in either Puerto Rico or DR or when Venezuela plays Mexico. Whether it be Caribbean baseball or spring training baseball it's the fact that there is organized baseball to watch during the winter that makes baseball a year round thing.      

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Now that the Game is Over..

So on Sunday I was one of the 111.5 million people who sat to watch the Super Bowl and as unsatisfying as the game was the old moniker of defense winning championships came true once again with the Seahawks dominating the Broncos to a 43 to 8 score. Does this make Peyton Manning any worse of a quarterback or diminish the great season he had up until that point? No. Whenever Manning decides to retire he'll definitely be a first ballot hall of famer. One Super Bowl ring or 2 he'll still go down as one the best quarterbacks to play the game. To some people Dan Marino is the best quarterback of all time yet he has no championships and Trent Dilfer has one ring to his name so does that make Dilfer better than Marino? I think not.

But I must give it to the Seahawks they got to Manning using their front four defensive linesmen (something that no team had done to Manning this season) leaving their physical secondary to rough up the Broncos wide receivers (also something that hasn't happened all season). Leaving Manning looking old, unathletic, and just plain ol' out of it. By halftime the game was over. I predicted that the NFC winner was going to win the Super Bowl and I was right, but I would've liked Peyton to capture his second title, but now let's lace up and play ball.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Finally Agree With Kobe

Kobe Bryant recently made comments about how fans shouldn't vote for him to go play in the All-Star game and should vote for the wave of young and talented kids that are going to be the next stars of the NBA (and of course fans voted for Kobe to start in the All-Star game even though he's been hurt for the majority of this season). But what I truly do agree with Kobe on is that he said that the NBA is soft compared to when he broke into the league in 1997, when what would be flagrant fouls now was just a normal foul back then. When Charles Oakley and them boys were in the league defense was played much more roughly with the paint being a playground of bruises and rough housing. Hand fouls (when a shooter is shooting the ball and gets contact on either of his hands) were nonexistent and that's one of the more popular fouls that's called in today's NBA.

But I'm going to go further than Kobe did and say that ALL sports have been softened since the rough and tumble 80's and 90's. When I started to watch sports (especially football) violence was at an all time high. Going over the middle in football wasn't for the weak. Wide receivers would get hit right when the ball got to them whether they were ready for it or not and that was entertainment. All of which is now borderline against the rules if not completely banned all together. Most of the time while I'm now watching a football game the statement "That's a flag?" is repeated several times. It isn't only football and basketball that's being affected by the softening of sports. In baseball there's a now a proposed rule change where catchers are now being told that they can't protect home plate because of the collisions between runners and said catchers. Next thing you know scoring in basketball games is going to average over 100 points per game and football players are going to be playing with flags attached to their hips.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A True Test for the Union

So Roger Goodell is thinking of getting rid of extra point kicks; and I think it's actually a good idea. The extra point is the biggest waste of time in football. After the touchdown the kicker comes on the field for the easiest kick ever. Only 5 kicks were missed out of over 1200 attempts so it's futile to think that it is a vital part of the game. Putting the onus on the team to truly earn the "extra point" would be much more entertaining. Lining up the team to earn the "extra point" whether it be with a running or passing play would be much more competitive. The roll of the kicker would severely be cut down with this change in competition, but I bet you more people would rather see the teams line up than watch some ex-soccer player kick a ball from the 10 yard line.

On another note I think this would be a bigger test for the player's association. In baseball the player's association would no way allow for the commissioner to cut down a position the way Goodell is planning. Because without having the extra point there would only really be a need for one kicker on the team and that means 32 kickers without jobs and that would lower the average salary for players something no union should allow, but then again this isn't baseball and the NFL owners pretty much control the union so we'll see how this transpires.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Close Your Eyes it's Ugly

Charles Barkley now commentating for TNT after a successful Hall of Fame career has made it known that he doesn't like jump shooting teams and to an extent I see the method to his madness. My biggest problem with jump shooting teams is that a player's touch with the ball in his hands differs from day to day. No matter how many nights a player is on point with his shot there are going to be nights where the player is going to be off. Yes, the great shooters are able to repeat their motion and be more consistent with their shot, but I can't shake the night when he's off. I've seen great teams look unstoppable because every shot that is put up hits the bottom of the net and I've also seen those same teams flush games down the toilet because their jump shooters can't hit the broad side of a barn.

Most times when a player is off it's ugly off. Where for example a player would need around 12 shots to make 6 points. That's incredibly inefficient. I can see the great nights where the shooter knows it's going down and takes every shot in the gym and is unstoppable. Shooting from half court? Nothing but net, shooting with three guys defending you? Buckets, that's three points, but then comes that night when it's ugly and it happens to every shooter when the opposing team pit its worse defender on you because they know you can't hit the simplest shot. The "solution" to these poor shooting nights of course is to keep shooting which makes it worse because those are a waste of possessions and it rarely gets better.

The Right Teams Made it to Sunday

This Sunday the NFC and AFC Champion games are going to kickoff and with that there are two very compelling games. In the NFC you have the Seattle Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers two very good teams that have quite a few things in common including two very strong defenses, two very strong running backs, and two quarterbacks that can run and throw with the best of them. While in the AFC there are the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos two teams that are a bit more traditional compared to their NFC counterparts. Both teams rely heavily on their quarterback play while their defenses aren't necessarily as elite as their quarterbacks. The matchup between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady is always an intriguing one, even though they're never on the field at the same time, they're the two marquee names in the game since they're both eventually going to end up in Canton, Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame.

Now to my outcome of both games. In the NFC game I believe that the San Francisco 49ers are getting better quarterback play from Colin Kaepernick compared to that of Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and considering the physical nature of the game on Sunday I feel like Kaepernick's play will be the factor that will put the 9ers back into the Super bowl. While in the AFC I feel like the Broncos have the better overall team with a better defense than the Patriots and a more consistent running game. So in my eyes it'll be the San Francisco 49ers against the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.    

Monday, January 13, 2014

All Net?

There was a team that up until this past Saturday hadn't lost in 2014 it wasn't the Miami Heat, not the San Antonio Spurs, not the Indiana Pacers, or any of the favorites for the NBA title, but the Brooklyn Nets. The Brooklyn Nets hadn't yet to lost in 2014 up until they lost to the Toronto Raptors. I'm not sure if Kevin Garnett has found a time machine, but he's been playing closer to his former self. The quiet Joe Johnson has been playing well, not at an MVP level, but damn near close and maybe the Nets have just found their stride and this is just may be temporary, but they have pulled of some impressive wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, they snapped the Golden State Warriors win streak, and yes even beat the two time defending champion Miami Heat.

Sure the Heat were playing back to back games, and sure the Nets only beat the Thunder by two points, but a win is a win and the Nets have to be feeling better about themselves considering where they were just one month ago. The Nets are 15-22 4 games back of the division leading Toronto Raptors (which shows how sad the Eastern Conference is this year) and have a mix of teams coming up starting with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks. The Eastern Conference is so sad that I wouldn't put another streak out of reach for these Brooklyn Nets.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

If I had a Vote...

Since the announcement for the MLB Hall of Fame is going to be to released later today I thought I would give it a shot at the vote for the Hall. The players that would get my vote would be:

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, and Jack Morris.

The obvious names are going to make it with Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas. The DH position since it has been a legit position for a while now it is time to put one of the greatest hitters of all time into the Hall so that's my nod for Martinez and for Thomas for that matter. The two names I can see me catching heat for are Bonds and Clemens.

Let me explain my vote for Bonds and Clemens. Both players at the peak of their career when they were young (Clemens with the Red Sox and Bonds with the Pirates) already had Hall of Fame credentials. Bonds had 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases to go along with 8 Gold Gloves and 3 MVPs all before he transformed his body into a walking building. While Clemens had 3 Cy Young awards and an MVP award (which is difficult for a pitcher to win) all of this before 1992. Oh and he had 1,665 strikeouts in that span with an astonishing 291 strikeouts in 1988. I don't care what these guys did late in their career to add more time to their careers all I know is that at their peak they were the best players in the league and that's what the Hall is all about.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Can there be some Love in Chicago?

The Bulls have decided to finally start to look toward the future and with their first move traded Luol Dang to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and three draft picks. The next move I'm expecting is the Bulls to FINALLY use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer. I would've used the amnesty clause on Boozer about two years ago, but the time has come and after this season and before the 16 or so million that Boozer is owed for the final year of his contract he will get hit with the amnesty and I couldn't be happier. So with Deng off the books, Bynum off the books, and Boozer the loser finally off the books the Bulls are set up with cap space AND draft picks to do whatever they want to do, but with great power comes great responsibility.

The last thing Bulls fans need is for the management to mess up this opportunity by doing something stupid like trade for Dwayne Wade or another player that's on the wrong side of his career. Not that there's anything wrong with Dwayne Wade he's just not what the Bulls need. The Bulls have the chance to build through the upcoming "Mega Draft" and also sign another star in the 2014/15 offseason. If I'm looking at a wishing well with a hand full of coins I'm throwing them all in for a run at Minnesota Timberwolve Kevin Love. With Love, Rose, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, plus whatever player the Bulls nab in the lottery, the Bulls would have the necessary pieces to make a run at the Indiana Pacers and for that matter the Miami Heat for the East. So as I'm sad to see Deng go having the chance to bring some Love to Chicago is something that shouldn't get passed up.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Cavalier Conundrum

Andrew Bynum was once a star center for the Los Angeles Lakers, but due to knee injuries he was limited to playing 392 games in his 7 year stretch with the Lakers and missed his whole year in Philadelphia after he was traded to the Sixers after the 2012 season. So Bynum has been relied upon as a centerpiece once with the Sixers and to an extent with the Lakers, but with another devastating knee injury where he needed ACL surgery again on his right knee he missed the season with the Sixers. As a free agent Bynum signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a team friendly 2 yrs and 24 Million dollar deal because the second year is an option instead of a guaranteed 24M the Cavs are on the hook for about 6M the rest of this season if he is not waived or traded by Jan 7 so the clock is ticking on the Cavs.

The Cavaliers are 10-21 this season and dedicated minutes from Andrew Bynum are difficult to come by because the youth movement (polite way of saying rebuilding effort) is not something Bynum is used to since he's been on winning teams for the large part of his career especially in LA. When Bynum isn't interested in playing basketball it's evident in his off the field behavior so it's no surprise to hear that the Cavaliers are trying to move Bynum. In my opinion the Cavs are going to waive Bynum before the Jan 7 deadline and avoid having to pay a player that doesn't want to be there. My question to Bynum is how much longer are you going to put teams through this? Your body isn't reliable enough to play 50 games much less the full 82 games in a season and your attitude sours the minute the team isn't winning call it a career or suck it up and play hurt. You're getting paid like an All Star so show up and be one.