Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Luckiest Puppet in the Game

While all hell was breaking loose in New York; with the Knickerbockers winning just 17 games and all the criticism thrown at Phil Jackson it's funny that "head coach" Derek Fisher hasn't felt any of it. Is it because everyone knows that Jackson is the real head coach? Or is it because folks don't think Fisher is worth criticizing? In New York's media heavy environment it's interesting that Fisher has been able to lay low. Not one coach has accomplished what Fisher has. If the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, even the Nets for that matter, any of them had the kind of disappointing season that the Knicks currently had Fisher would be under the microscope, but all the talk has been about Phil. Fisher is getting paid 5 million dollars to be the head coach and to do a job that apparently Jackson might be doing from his luxury box with his high chair.

Alvin Gentry and other veteran coaches should be mad that these rookie coaches are getting paid more than they are and didn't have to go through the development process that was once the norm in the NBA. If you ask me Fisher has the best job in the NBA. No matter what he does, or doesn't do, or how hard he fails the blame will land on Phil and not on Fisher. Funny enough, Fisher never ran the triangle when he started coaching but now that Phil is calling the shots the triangle is back in full swing in New York. If the Knicks win another 17 games next season is Fisher going to be on the hot seat? Is Fisher even scared that that can be a possibility for him since the almighty shield of Phil is protecting him? We'll see next season when first round pick Kristaps Porzingus, Melo, and the rest of the Knicks take the court.

Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Innings is the New Norm

When I started watching baseball pitchers would go at least 6 innings then give the ball to a reliever. Heck before I was even thought of pitchers wouldn't get off the mound until their shoulder gave up and yet there were less injuries. Now a days pitchers are getting paid way more than they're worth and can't (or won't be allowed to) make it past the 5th inning. The evolution of the bullpen has destroyed the modern day starting pitcher. Going into the 5th inning the bullpen is most likely already stirring with guys stretching and playing long toss if not already getting warm. While the starting pitcher is still in the game and not even in trouble. Unless you're the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgardner, or Max Scherzer getting through the 5th inning is a rarity if there isn't a no hitter or perfect game going.

Stat nerds would tell you that after the 5th inning pitchers are most likely to get roughed up because that's most likely the pitcher's 3rd time facing the opposing team's lineup, but isn't the point of Spring Training and preseason pitching camps (that most teams hold before Spring Training) to get pitchers stretched out and ready to pitch deep into games? More and more as bullpens continue to evolve and starters are continued to be babied eventually there's going to come a day when a team is going to have just a huge bullpen and no starters. The death of starters, in my opinion, has begun.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Where is the Outrage?

There is a double standard in sports. Ray Rice had a highly publicized domestic violent incident and he's unemployed and has resentment from many people, but where's the outrage over Hope Solo? She had her own domestic violence incident and yet there isn't the same level of outrage. Is it that violence against men isn't on the same level as violence against women? The fact that one of the victims in this case was a minor at the time should make it even worse, but yet when the US Women's National Soccer team takes the field for their next game Solo will be starting at goalie. Rice can't get a job in the NFL. Even though several big names have come out stating that Rice deserves a second chance. Solo doesn't need that because she hasn't been suspended and hasn't even lost a sponsor.

Now imagine if Hope Solo was a man. If a man would've gotten violent with his brother and niece while under the effects of alcohol he'd be damned. On the same blackballed list as Rice. Even though Solo's case isn't even close to being over I don't believe there is going to be the same public impact as other domestic violence cases where the man is the aggressor. Violence is wrong no matter what the gender is of the aggressor, but yet the public reaction can't be damnation for men, but then silence for female aggressors. Equality should be for all.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Who I Got

So the NBA Finals start tonight at 9pm with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James against Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving against Klay Thompson, Mozgov against Bogut. These guys wont necessarily face off against each other, but big names (except for maybe Mozgov and Bogut) are going to be out for both teams. It's not easy rooting against LeBron James because he has a strong will to win and makes his teammates better like no other player does in the league, but I believe the team that has been the best team in the league all season will come out on top. The depth that the Warriors have is quite impressive. When you have guys who have played in previous All Star games coming off the bench to spell guys who played in this year's All Star game that's something to marvel at.

The reason the Warriors have been the best team in the league is because they play both top 5 defense and run a very efficient offense. With shooters like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes (who when on a roll looks unstoppable), and Andre Iguodala, amongst others the Warriors' offense is top notch. On the other side of the coin guys like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bout, in the paint, the Warriors' defense has also been top notch this year. The Cavaliers have a tough 7 games ahead of them; even though they have the experience factor over the Warriors I don't think they have the talent to stop the Warriors for 4 games. This has been a magical year for the Warriors and I see it ending with them hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in 6 games.