Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Is it Really a Two Horse Race?

It's hard to consider that the NBA season is already over. The first ball hasn't even been tipped and if you ask most folk the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are destined to be there at the end facing each other (again) for the championship trophy. Maybe they're right, but with Pau Gasol going to San Antonio and the maturity of Toronto I don't think it's going to be so easy for the Cavs and Dubs to make the Finals. Chicago has arguably gotten better, the laughable Knicks have made an attempt to make a difference, I think the Toronto Raptors are going to make things interesting in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, and others will make the Western Conference tougher than people think.

It's hard to bet against Durant joining the already deep Warriors and betting against LeBron James is never smart, but I can't come to the consensus that the season is already over. Will they meet up at the end like Vegas thinks, maybe, but there's too much parity in the Association to decide it in October.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Here's Why it Works

First, allow me to congratulate the Cleveland Indians on making it to the World Series while missing 2 of their 3 top starting pitchers. Next, let me congratulate Indians manager Terry "Tito" Francona on his masterful use of his bullpen. Now let's get down to it. The best thing the Indians did was trade for star reliever Andrew Miller, but the real props goes to the New York Yankees who signed Andrew Miller to a 4yr 36M dollar deal prior to this season. Why is that a big deal? Because since Miller got paid he doesn't necessarily have a chip on his shoulder freeing Francona to use Miller whenever he seems like he may need a fire to be relinquished. So whenever the opponent has men in scoring position in the 6th inning or later Francona can turn around and bring Miller in and shut down the threat. The bullpen in Cleveland is good if not great and they have the perfect manager to utilize them in the way he has.

The biggest culprit here is the way players get paid. One good thing about the stats invasion the geeks have brought to light is there are new ways to measure a player's performance, but until teams start using those stats instead of the old grandpa stats like saves, wins, and holds to judge how much players should get paid players will demand to be put in the roles that will get them paid. Had Andrew Miller not gotten paid I doubt Francona will have the freedom to use Miller in the same fashion that he has this post season. There are other arms in the Indians bullpen, but they're stuck in the arbitration process so they don't have control over how they're being used. Once the arbitration process evolves, just like how stats have, that's when more managers will have the opportunity to use relievers the same way Tito is.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This is the Best Time of the Year

Welcome to October; to the MLB playoffs. Where the one game wild card play in game brings game 7 to your television right out of the chute. Where the 162 game marathon that is the MLB season approaches the final stretch run. Baltimore v. Toronto tonight and the Mets v. Giants tomorrow night. Let the games begin and let all the clich├ęs about all hands on deck be rung out from Toronto all the way to San Francisco. The energy is always up for these games and for good reason because unlike most leagues an MLB wild card winner can go on a helluva run and win the whole darn thing.

Get your popcorn ready and your face painted because the playoffs are here and this is bound to be some of the most enthused, hyped, motivated, exciting baseball you will see this year. This is what the marathon leads to. All the leaping grabs, all the home runs, all the strike outs, all of the hard work that is put in in March/April all leads up to this month. If your team isn't in it it's still fun to watch the excitement that is playoff baseball. How rowdy the fans are and how you expect your squad to make it next season so you can be there instead of them. It's October. The air is crisp and these 9 innings will be some of the most motivated innings you will see.

Welcome Back Mr. Brady

After the endless foolishness that was deflate gate Tom Brady got suspended for 4 games. Ironically enough the Pats lost to the sad Bills this past week. Not only did they lose they were shut out by the Bills. The quarterback that started for the Pats was the third string guy and rumor has it he had a bum thumb, but somewhere laughing his hind side off had to be Brady who can now ride in on his white horse and play the savior. No need for a quarterback controversy, not even a question as to who would start. The Belichick system has proven to not need Brady, but it just shines much much brighter when Brady is under center. Brady now gets to write his own storyline for the rest of 2016. Brady gets to add to his legacy because, you know, he isn't already considered to be one of the greatest of time.

If the Pats win the Super Bowl this year Tom Brady will be the main reason and those that hate the Pats will have more reason to throw up.Jimmy Garoppolo may be the future up in chowder town, but with that shoulder injury he's got and the return of the white knight he's back on the bench for good. Garoppolo showed potential when he was under center, but he's gonna have to learn from behind the walking golden suit in Brady. The kid that started on Sunday with the bum thumb well he's going to have to watch from even further down the bench. In Tom Brady the Pats trust and loves and dies with and he's back this coming week. Party time in chowder town.