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.