My Thoughts From The Last Few Weeks: Baseball, Basketball, and Football

morgan spoknyContributor IMay 17, 2010

Social commentaries and food for thought

Watched the new Sherlock Holmes last night for the first time and I’ve got to say that it’s a very solid movie with a typical Guy Ritchie plot. Sherlock is a deducing beast!

Why do I have to pay $3.50/gallon at the pump and also have to pay to clean up the oil spills?

Ways to alleviate debt in Greece. How about you sell The Parthenon? — Fannie Mae could finance subprime loans to redevelop it as townhomes.

On average, surveys find, the unemployed in the U.S. spend 40 minutes a day looking for work and 3 hours and 20 minutes a day watching TV.

Just got free Bruegger’s bagels today and now I’m ready to beast. All it took was one bagel. The power of a good bagel is very strong; never underestimate its importance.

It’s not just the NBA, MLB and NFL that is using performance enhancers. Yea that’s right, yesterday I loaded up on some herbal supplements and took a cycle of the bee pollen.

So I was thinking about it today and I am pretty much a Mychal Thompson clone. I hate traveling places, lines, traffic, doing stuff and I don’t like paying for anything. Other than the whole Bahamas thing, that “Show Time” stuff, and the fact that he is almost a foot taller than myself, we are the exact same person.

When you don’t know what to do, just think to yourself…. What would Keith Law do?

Basketball related

This ORL/BOS series is quite intriguing and I’m still on the fence in regards to who will actually advance to the finals. Orlando dominated Atlanta, and when I mean dominated, I’m talking about beating them by a collective 101 pts over the 4 game sweep. Beating a team by 25.25 PTS/GM in the 2nd round of the playoffs is just silly. And Boston totally surprised me and rest of the world by making Lebron look like a lost puppy, who forgot how to effectively dribble and drive to the hole with authority.

What are Cavalier fans doing? How can you berate your once beloved King James? Without him you are nothing! I suggest you quit the whining and take a page from Heat fans and start sucking up to your franchise player in order to keep him in town. You learn who your true friends are in your darkest of moments, and Cavs fans have shown their true colors. Lebron might have stayed despite losing this series to Boston if he was respected by his so called fans for his entire body of work and not one poor showing, but there is no way he stays now that you have disrespected him, and called him a fraud. If Lebron James is a fraud, then you can consider his entire supporting cast Bernie Madoff!

With that said, I don’t get these last two games Lebron? 9 turnovers in game 6! You were dribbling the ball off your foot, making terrible cross court passes and at any times you looked lost. Yet you somehow also post a triple double, and you were one turnover away from a quadruple double. At times there were once again moments where you never looked like you even cared. With a minute left you just ran down the court and turned over…cough…. handed the ball to the Celtics. Then Mo Williams brings the ball up the last trip with no sense of urgency, and the Cav’s final shot was a Varejao 3 pointer… huh?. At the end of the game you slapped hands with the Celt’s like you just ran a game of 21 at the local YMCA. The entire exchange after the game left with me a very weird vibe.

Rasheed Wallace didn’t even get a technical in the series? Something is wrong here. Shaq never showed an ounce of emotion. Shaq never confronted Lebron about needing to buckle down with the ball. He was a silent idle side kick. Prior to this showing I felt like Lebron could hit any shot he wanted. I even wanted to create a new play called Purple Rain. Purple Rain would be cue for Lebron to dribble to half court and throw up a left- handed half court shot without looking. Then upon making it, the PA announcer would scream out, “Game Blouses”, and pancakes could be shot out of those pressured canisters to all the fans in attendance. Idk, it’s just a suggestion….

Tyreke, Steph and or Jennigns each have a case for the ROY award. Tyreke and Steph have the better stats, but Jennings is the only one in the playoffs, and he has a chance to knock off a much more talented Hawk team without Bogut or Redd.

Ron Artest twisted an ankle and did not play in the second half. “I’ll be OK,” Artest said about his ankle. He would not identify which ankle was hurt and said he didn’t remember when or how the injury occurred. “It’s nothing serious. I’ll be fine.” Is Artest just plain dumb, or is he playing coy?

I’ve saying it all year, Rondo is the best Celtic. He gets to the line more than anyone else on that team and he is the only electric player they have.

Over the last three regular seasons, LeBron James has been the primary defender on Rajon Rondo for 10 plays, with Rondo scoring 10 points (100 points per 100 plays). Overall during the same time period, against all other defenders, Rondo has averaged 88 points per every 100 plays.

No joke… As of right now, Dwight Howard has shot 84% from the field against the Hawks during the series. Are you kidding me?

What is more impressive: Steve Nash playing with one eye, or Rajon Rondo grabbing 18 boards?

At 617 consecutive games and counting, Andre Miller is the NBA’s Iron Man. Derek Fisher, who trails Miller on the active games played list, is almost 200 games back. So, what kind of fitness guru is he? “I have no regimen,” Miller says. After the season ends, so does Miller’s working out — no weights, no cardio, no nothing. “I really don’t pick up a basketball.”

The Blazers are getting killed tonight. Why is Brandon Roy still out there? For the sake of Roy‘s future please shut him down for the remainder of the season.

Last two possessions for the Heat: Udonis Haslem fade away and a D-wade isolation that resulted in what looked like a really serious leg injury. Series over…That’s not the way you want it to end if you’re a Heat fan. Fingers crossed for D-Wade.

John Hollinger: Levels of deadness: 1) Dead 2) Enbalmed 3) Decomposed 4) Downtown Salt Lake on a Sunday. Better odds of tumbleweed hitting you than cars.

Ray Allen: Odds of a 91.3% shooter missing three straight FTs is less than one in a thousand: 0.066% – or about seven in ten thousand.

So I was watching the Oklahoma City Thunder game last night and I stumbled across Serge Ibaka. I have got to say that I was very impressed. The 20 yr old native of the Congo has great size and length (6′11″) with a long Durant -esque wingspan, can jump out of the building, surprisingly showed a very nice soft shot, and he hustles on both sides of the ball. Ibaka isn’t just some bumbling oaf, this kid can play. Ibaka fills the always important high energy role and doesn’t require the ball in his hands to make a big impact on the outcome of the game. Although if you leave him open he will make you pay with that smooth stroke. He is the perfect complimentary player for OKC, because Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Green can all create shots for themselves so having one less hand in the cookie jar really facilitates the most synergy for this team on the court. As I said, I’ve only seen him play once, but I am really looking forward to seeing this kid play again in the near future and watching his game continue to mature.

That Westbrook block on Gasol, that was called a foul was a huge game changer. It was a 6 pt game at time (2:30 left in the 4th) but that blown call was the dagger that sealed the deal.

Simmer down Lakers hater. OKC is a 21-21 team during the regular season on the road. I predicted they would win last night because they are a young team that is much better at home. The Lakers will win the series, but these games in OK will be nail bitters.

Congrats to Craig Calloway of Compton who hit a half court shot between the third and fourth quarters at the Lakers game last night and won $235,000. Maybe the Clips should look to sign this kid up? I bet Sterling could get a good deal.

Dwight Howard is the only player in HISTORY to lead the league in Field Goal percentage, Rebounds and Block shots.

Baseball related

Matt Latos just tossed a complete game one hitter today. Is it just me, or are we seeing an ungodly amount of CG shutouts this year? Has Selig’s BS excuse for a steroid policy actually been effective? Has Selig finally done something right? We still have no known and effective test for HGH, so I don’t think you can call the game entirely clean. However, the landscape of the game does look different, which is somewhat puzzling. These guys throwing CG’s left and right are doing so without abusing their arms. Most guys are still using roughly a 100 pitches per outing, which is status quo.

Daric Barton laid down a sacrifice for the A’s today. These are not the same money ball teams.

I’m going on record…Ben Sheets is back! Man I feel like a champ for picking him up last night: 6 innings 2 hits 1 ER 2 walks 8 k’s

Homer Bailey threw a four-hitter without walking anyone Wednesday, leading the Reds over Pittsburgh 5-0 for a three-game sweep. Bailey followed Johnny Cueto’s one-hit gem at PNC Park on Tuesday. The Reds became the first team in the majors in nearly 10 years to pitch back-to-back complete-game shutouts without a walk. Oakland’s Tim Hudson and Barry Zito did it on Sept. 9-10, 2000, against Tampa Bay.

Really bad aspects of teams sometimes can be fascinating. Take Arizona’s bullpen. It could very well be the worst in recent memory, or distant memory for that matter. Through 33 games, the Diamondbacks’ relief staff sports an ERA of 7.09. That’s an astounding 1.67 points worse than any other team in the big leagues. Only one reliever, Aaron Heilman, has an ERA less than 6.00, and his is nothing impressive (4.26).

I just had to do the unthinkable. Yup, I had to cut one of my favorite players Edwin Jackson… Fortunately, I was able to snag Brett Cecil who is another studly young power arm. Best of luck Edwin, but I can’t afford to carry your weekly implosion on the squad any longer. Side note: I cut Cecil for Anibal Sanchez, after Cecil got rocked in his last start. Possibly might have jumped the gun on Cecil, however I still think he is a future stud.

Do the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have the best 5 man rotation in baseball (Matt Garza, David Price, Jamey Shields, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis)?

Exactly what did the Cleveland Indians do to become baseball’ most hated team? A Wall Street Journal survey used an Internet algorithm built by Nielsen Co. to determine the most loathed team in baseball. It was not the New York Yankees or even the Boston Red Sox, but the No. 1 honor went to the Tribe. Are you buying or selling that the Tribe are the most despised team in the game?

Adios Matt Kemp: Ned Colletti has officially called out Matt Kemp’s defense and base running and is on record saying that Kemp might be too comfortable now that he has a new two-year, $10.95 million contract. Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, reacted with shock on Wednesday to Colletti’s comments.”When it comes time for Matt to arbitrate two years from now, we’re going to look at that situation and do what’s best for Matt”

Word on the streets is that Giants stud catching prospect Buster Posey is about to be called up. If you need a catcher in your fantasy leagues, look no further.Triple-A isn’t taxing Posey; he’s hitting .353 (24-for-68) with a homer and nine RBIs in Triple-A Fresno. Posey also played some firs base during spring training.

F.Y.I stud Cubbie prospect Starlin Castro was just called up. In his first game in the bigs, Starlin smacked a homer and triple. Keep Castro on your radar and go ahead and pick him up if you need the SS on your fantasy squad.

Should Ryan Howard (25 mill) be making more than Mark Teixeira (22.5 mill)?

Howard should not be making more than Teixeira, but with that said, Howard is one of the best players in the game and it was essential for the Phillies to lock him up. 25 mill a year is pretty steep, but what is an extra 2.5 mill a year to a billion dollar franchise? I would have conceded that much money too, just to keep him off the market and away from my competitors. Howard has improved his contact, lowered his K’s and has showed up to the last two spring trainings in amazing shape, which is really a testament to his work ethic and drive to get better. Ryan is a monster with the stick (Career 162 gm avg- .279, .373 obp, 49 Hr’s hrs 142 rbi’s), but he does lack the defense that Teixeira offers.  Since Teixiera came on board, A-Rod has magically stopped making errant throws, Jeter became a GG SS again, and Cano is no longer viewed as a defensive liability.

Teixiera is a stud and so is Howard. Howard and Teixera can both be very inconsistent, yet at other times they can be two of the most feared hitters in the game. During the WS last year neither guy was very impressive. Teixera batted .136, and Howard hit .174. The age old saying is that good pitching usually beats good hitting, and this was definitely the case last year. I expect Howard to stay with the Phillies for the entirety of the deal. Howard IMO is worth around 18 mill a year, but as I said what is a few million dollars to a billionaire owner. Jack up the tickets, concessions and parking, factor in his notoriety and merchandise sales and after everything is said and done, he will basically be paying his own salary.

White Sox OF/DH Andruw Jones blasted his 3rd homer of the season last night. Jones now has 3 Hr’s in only 20 AB’s. I told everyone on the show last week that he looked like he was in the best shape of his life and poised to have a break out year. Jones has always been a player who could get by on his immense innate abilities, but now it looks like he has added the gym to his repertoire. This is not a fluke!

Just saw the Mets “stud” prospect Jenrry Mejia, and I have to say I am very impressed. Solid 95 mph, good movement and control, and he has the ability to drop in a nice backdoor curve. Besides the attributes I listed I also liked his demeanor and poise on the mound. He displayed a controlled but fiery attitude when he was on the hill which I thought was particularly impressive since the game was pretty much out of hand at that point. He came in, worked quickly and was able to use his stuff to get some quick outs. I was also surprised by how well he was able to locate the ball, especially for 20 year old who just started playing organized ball at age 15.

Stat of the day contributed by the “Topster”: Barry Zito has not given up a hit via the curveball all year (5 starts).

1: total RBIs for the tandem of Kemp and Ethier in the six games since Manny Ramirez was put on the 15-day disabled list last Friday. That is yet another indication that Ramirez remains a critical piece for the Dodgers, not only for what he himself brings but also for the way he lengthens the lineup and forces opposing pitchers to pitch differently to the hitters above and below him.

Football related

JaMarcus Russell was paid more than $5 million per win, more than $2 million per touchdown pass and more than $100,000 per completion.

And so the dysfunctional circus begins in Dallas once again. WR’s Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd have both demanded to be dealt now that Dez Bryant is in town. Dez has been anointed the de facto Cowboys franchise player and was given Irvin’s coveted # 88 jersey before stepping on the field. So much for Jerry Jones mantra last year that players needed to earn their stripes, playing time and role on the team… cough cough Roy Williams..

“Hard to imagine that WRs Joey Galloway, Bobby Wade would find work before Terrell Owens. But that’s just what happened.” – Adam Schefter

Even if Denver had decided to move him to, say, offensive line, Tebow would still be wildly popular because of his collegiate success and his eminently likable off-field demeanor. Which helps explain why his No. 15 Broncos jersey was the top seller among rookies last weekend, followed by Ndamukong Suh, Sam Bradford, Eric Berry and Dez Bryant.

We love the draft but it’s not an exact science: in 2009 1260 players started at least one game. 20% were 1st rounders and 17% were undrafted. – Trey Wingo

Until Trent Williams, the Redskins were the sole NFL team that had not used a first or second choice on an offensive lineman in the last decade. Even post-Williams, the Skins have taken just five linemen in the top four rounds since 2000. The Eagles in the same span have taken 20 linemen in the top four rounds.

Jason Campbell spent five years in the maelstrom of coaching turmoil with the Washington Redskins, the last two of those years standing behind one of NFL history’s worst offensive lines. His reward: traded to Oakland. Did this guy do something in a former life for which he now must be punished by the cosmic wheel?

Watching Campbell for the last two seasons, I’ve often thought, “Quarterback is not the problem with this team.” He’s a good quarterback. Could the Raiders actually return to the NFL mainstream next season?

I liked the Pierre-Paul pick.. Have you seen how many back flips that kid can do?  Tebow will be decent, but they have two other similar players already on the roster in Orton and Quinn. SD reached for Mathews. Dez will be the truth in Dallas. Jax took a safe pick, rather than the sexy pick. CB wilson is a stud, who rose up on the board recently and was even on some mocks ahead of Haden.

Who would have thought Shipley would be drafted before McCoy. Go figure….

Cromartie just had baby # 8…Does that mean that we start calling Cromartie “Octopop” ala “Octomom”?

I like Oakland’s 1st round selection of Rolando Mcclain. But you can only go as far as your QB can take you. JaMarcus Russell is so bad he should only be referenced when playing beer pong and you completely overshoot the entire table. It’s called pulling a JaMarcus…

Bryant, Crayton, Williams, Austin, Choice, Jones, Barber, Witten…. Lookout NFL, Tony Romo should be poised to have another breakout year, except this time he will win a MVP and SB along the way, and secure his spot in the HOF amongst the greatest to ever play the game. Seriously how can Romo manage to mess this one up? That is one of the sickest offenses on paper I have ever seen.

By: Morgan Spokny

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