Tuesday, January 27, 2009

14 comments TMQ: I Can't Let This Go Edition And Simmons Doesn't Understand His Own Definitions

I have a tendency to go on a bit long when writing about Bill Simmons and Gregg Easterbrook (as some commenters have noted correctly to me, it ends to dilute some of my points), so I am going to fix that by giving everyone a two for one special and try to hold back a little bit. One post with both Easterbrook and Simmons in it. There are some things you just know, and I knew I was going to hate Gregg Easterbrook's All Unwanted All-Pros. First, let's scan over some of his idiotic comments before he blows our minds with his All-Pros, which my analyzation (I like this word much better than "analysis") of could take 10 pages of text to argue with if I wrote all I wanted to about it.

At Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, when not watching the action or checking out cheer-babes, I will be nervously scanning the skies overhead, watching vigilantly for alien starcruisers decloaking.

Since I am not sure he understands football, this does not shock me.

Now the Arizona Cardinals, led by "Kurt Warner," are in the Super Bowl. Now I realize his identity -- "Warner" is a Tralfamadorian. In several Kurt Vonnegut novels, the Tralfamadorians are an ancient super-advanced alien race that means no harm, but intervenes with lesser civilizations for amusement. Tralfamadorians look like walking toilet plungers. Many foibles of human history have been their doing, as are many features of Earth. The Tralfamadorians, for example, manipulated construction of the Great Wall of China so that its apparent random zig-zags, when viewed from orbit, spell out a naughty word in their language; Tralfamadorians find this hugely hilarious.

(Silence from me having nothing to say)

Ummmm...the Tralfamadorians would not find this column hilarious though.

Over the years, I've realized what people want is for me, or anyone masquerading as a sports pundit, boldly to assert exactly what's going to happen. People seem to like the idea that insiders have super-ultra-secret knowledge that allows them to predict events;

I mean, I don't know, I guess it is silly for someone to think a person who works for a major sports web site and has the resources of that site behind him/her could provide some sense of insight into the biggest football game of the year. If he/she can't do this, then what separates that person being qualified for the job from everyone else? I think that would be the question that everyone asks. If you go to the doctor and you ask him what medicines are going on the market in the next couple of years to help fight your stomach ulcers. If he answers that he doesn't know and wonders why everyone asks him like he is an expert, then you will switch doctors fairly quickly.

Everyone, from my personal friends to the "SportsCenter" audience to the 1 billion people who will watch the Super Bowl, seems to want to believe that insiders, using incredible expertise, already know what will happen.

Not really. I would say most people are just yearning for some good analysis of the game. Excuse them if they look to ESPN/you for that.

Obviously, Pittsburgh will come into the Super Bowl knowing Arizona has surprised two straight opponents by running the ball more, and so will expect Arizona to run the ball. Therefore maybe Arizona should come out passing. Then again, since the Steelers know the Cardinals may surprise them by running, and may expect to be surprised by passing, maybe the Cardinals should double-surprise Pittsburgh by running, since that's what Pittsburgh expects, and therefore will assume won't happen.

(Sound of Bengoodfella running around attic looking for something heavy to bang head on repeatedly so he can forget this cluster of sentences...only finds insulation which doesn't work, tries to jump out window but mom has boarded it shut, feels he has failed miserably so continues torturing himself by reading the rest of this column.)

The Steelers' defense can bring a rushing game to a halt, and against Pittsburgh, staying with the run and continuing to pound the ball doesn't seem to work. Unless Arizona breaks a couple of runs in the first half, the Cardinals may have little choice but to go pass-wacky. Pittsburgh is also first in the postseason against the pass.

During the regular season, the Steelers' defense was tops in yards allowed and points allowed; the Cardinals' defense was 19th and 28th, respectively. That is a gap you could drive John Madden's bus through.

Gregg picked the Cardinals to win 28-10 by the way. Just thought I should mention this so you would know his pick has nothing to do with anything football related.

Arizona should use power sets on offense. Pittsburgh should go with the pro set (the Steelers haven't lined up in the pro set since Rocky Bleier). On defense, Arizona should back away from safety blitzes; it's now a Cards tendency and opponents know it's coming.

Hey, you know the offense a team has built its entire team around? Forget that, try running an offensive set that doesn't fit your personnel. That should work. I mean, this may work one or two plays but I would not build my entire game plan around it.

Gregg really needs to know there is such a thing as a run blitz and they do tend to work every once in a while. Teams can also disguise blitzes so the offense doesn't know it is coming, so giving up on a safety blitz may not be the best choice. Seriously, does this guy know anything about football?

The football gods chortled when Julius Peppers threw his ego fit about wanting to move from the Panthers' 4-3 to a 3-4 team so that his sack stats would improve.

He wants to be a standup LB in the 3-4 defense not a defensive end.

After his final game at Buffalo, in 1999, Reed publicly denounced his coach, Wade Phillips, for not making the game plan all about Andre Reed.

THE Wade Phillips, the same guy who is currently running the Dallas Cowboys in the ground? The same guy who had the entire offense of the Cowboys counting how many throws were to them under his watch this year? Don't let Reed get in the HoF for showing up a guy who clearly is such a great coach. Andre Reed, no Hall of Fame for you.

In the last season of episodes, the Cylons have also started saying "frak this" and "frak that," though they are incapable of reproduction! Are we to believe that between them, two super-advanced societies able to build enormous faster-than-light starcruisers can only think of one swear word?

(Taking deep breath because for the umpteenth time Gregg wants to be the ombudsman for a completely fictional show.)

I don't know Gregg, I am not sure if the writers of a science fiction show where aliens of different races mingle together, yet all speak English, were completely worried about making sure the amount of curse words was accurate.

Many readers, including Marlene Mitchell of Nashville, Tenn., pointed out that after defeating the Steelers at home in Week 16, Titans players engaged in the immature stunt of stomping on the yellow towels of Steelers fans who came to the game. What happened next? Tennessee went 0-2 for the remainder of the year, blowing the AFC's top seed in the postseason. "Do not tempt the football gods," Mitchell writes.

The same man who can't believe a fictional science fiction would only give an alien species one curse word and wants all television shows to be as realistic as possible, actually believes in the existence of "football gods" that endorse good behavior and punish bad behavior. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Each year, TMQ honors those gentlemen who became NFL success stories despite going undrafted, or being waived, or both. Here are the qualifications for my All-Unwanted All-Pros: A player must have been undrafted, or been waived, or been let go in free agency when his original club made no bona fide attempt to retain him. Players who left their teams via trade are not eligible, because the team received something of value in return; free agents whom their original teams wanted to retain, but could not for salary cap reasons, are not eligible.

Got all of that? Here is my problem with this team. It includes many players that are now wanted by other teams and there is really no real way to explain the real reason a player left their original team. It could be they had a young player who could play the position for less or they thought the player got paid too much and needed to save money under the salary cap. Basically I am not sure Gregg understands how a salary cap works. To call them "unwanted" is incorrect, they may have been wanted in some cases, they just could not be afforded or they are actually now "wanted" but in the past were "unwanted," which makes me think they are no longer "unwanted." I will explain more for each one. Let's just say Gregg has a much looser interpretation of "unwanted" than I do. I will give you the facts and let you decide if they are "unwanted" or not. These are some of the most egregious examples he included:

Willie Anderson, Baltimore

3 time First team All Pro, 4 time Second Team All Pro, 4 time Pro Bowl selection, drafted #10 overall in 1996.

Cut after he refused to take a pay cut. Signed 3/$11 million deal with Ravens. Not unwanted, but too expensive.

Kevin Mawae

3 time All Pro Selection, 7 time Pro Bowl Selection, drafted in the 2nd round in 1994.

Cut after suffering serious triceps injury in 2005. Signed free agent deal with Titans nine days later. Jets drafted Nick Mangold in 1st round so Mawae became expendable in the Jets mind.

Antonio Gates, San Diego

Has only played for San Diego in his career and was undrafted because he did not play football in college.

Signed 6/$24 million deal with Chargers in 2005 and has been All Pro selection 3 times. Has never been unwanted.

Kevin Curtis

Was 3rd round pick by Rams and left them as a free agent in 2007 to sign a 6/$32 million deal with the Eagles. Gregg put him in here because he was a walk on at Utah State and was a third team All American (which sounds pretty good to me). I have no idea when he was unwanted, other than high school, but that was over 10 years ago.

Cornelius Griffin

2nd round pick in 2000. Became a free agent in 2004 and was signed by the Washington Redskins. Not every player that signs with another team is an "unwanted" by the original team. There is this thing called a "salary cap" teams have to adhere to, so it is hard to say a player was actually unwanted without knowing specific details of the reason that person was not resigned.

London Fletcher

Has been signed twice to big free agent contract, once by Buffalo and then was signed to 5/$25 million deal with Washington in 2007. Was undrafted but has been pretty wanted since then.

Will Allen

1st round pick in 2001 and was not resigned by the New York Giants and signed 4/$12 million deal with Miami.

Antonio Winfield

1st round pick in 1999 by Buffalo and let him go for salary cap reasons and signed 6 year/$34.8 million contract by Minnesota with $12.8 million in guaranteed money in 2004. Has never been unwanted, just too expensive.

Roberto Garza

4th round pick by Atlanta. Signed one year deal with Chicago in 2005 and a 6 year deal in 2006.

Derrick Mason

2 time Pro Bowl selection. Signed as UNRESTRICTED free agent by Ravens in 2005 after Titans decided not give him large enough contract offer. Too expensive, not unwanted.

Kerry Collins

I don't even have to look this up. 5th pick in 1995 draft, got drunk at a bar in 2007 and made racial slur at one of his offensive lineman, went into the office of head coach Dom Capers and told him he did not have the passion to play anymore, so team cut him, went to New Orleans and got a DUI and team cut him, went to New York Giants and was released because fellow "unwanted" Kurt Warner was signed, went to Oakland on 3/$16.82 million dollar contract and was cut because of salary cap reasons, went to Tennessee and had one good year. Is an inconsistent performer, self admitted alcoholic, former racist and quit on his first team...was unwanted but for good reason.

Trevor Pryce

1st round pick in 1997, 4 time Pro Bowl selection and was signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Ravens in 2007.

Morlon Greenwood

3rd round pick in 2001 and signed with Texans as a free agent. Has never been an "unwanted" just not "re-signed."

Fred Smoot

2nd round pick in 2001 and signed free agent deal with Minnesota Vikings where he had on field and off field problems and signed by Redskins to 5/$25 million deal in 2007 after Vikings released him because another "unwanted" Antoine Winfield was performing well.

receiver Antonio Bryant

2nd round pick in 2002, traded to Browns in 2004 for arguing with Bill Parcells, signed free agent deal with 49ers and was suspended 4 games by the NFL in 2007, and could not sign with a team even when suspension was over because he failed a drug test over the summer, and signed with Bucs. Not an "unwanted," just not worth the trouble compared to his previous production on the field.

center Justin Hartwig

Signed to unrestricted free agent contract by Carolina Panthers in 2006, was cut for salary cap and injury reasons and signed 2/$4 million deal with Steelers.

Justin Gage, Tennessee. Drafted by the Bears, spent four seasons in Chicago, starting 15 of 55 possible games and generally invisible. In two seasons at Tennessee, has 89 catches for 1,401 yards and eight touchdowns. This season, Kerry Collins repeatedly looked to Gage on clutch downs, and the Flaming Thumbtacks earned the AFC No. 1 seed. Has emerged as one of the NFL's best-disciplined, exactly-in-the-right-place wide receivers.

So Gage was unwanted because he stunk in Chicago, that seems to make sense to me. I am not sure how you measure being a "best disciplined, exactly-in-the-right-place wide receiver," but I have a feeling this is a measurement Gregg made up to make himself sound right.

In Gregg's world, there is no such thing as the salary cap and if a player has been "unwanted" at ANY point in their career, they are eligible to make the list.

Let's go to the underratedly overrated Bill Simmons.

Thanks to the Internet, 93% of the American population now has a sports column, podcast or blog. All we do anymore is estimate things!

I don't think a podcast or blog is all about estimating things. I think it is about writing things. Bill's ability to confuse me when he is talking about something serious is underrated.

A guy carries around the underrated tag for so long, he becomes overrated—or, in Wallace's particular case, wildly, perplexingly overrated.

Sound the drums and cue the band...Bill Simmons and I have agreed on something again.

I think more in terms of Bobby Abreu and Garrett Anderson. They were so underrated, all of a sudden everyone realized they got paid too much and became overrated. Now they are older and no one wants them. For future reference, this does not make them underrated.

If you want to find someone who is truly underrated, you have to look for a player who 1) actually matters, and 2) has the potential to remain underrated for more than a few minutes.

This is Bill's criteria for being underrated. Just remember this when he starts talking about the NBA Rookie of the Year last year and a Hall of Fame baseball player being underrated.

My personal definition of underrated has three parts. First, it needs to refer to someone currently achieving at a crazy high level, only nobody seems to realize it.

If Bill would be a little clearer on the definition of "nobody" I could agree a little bit more. If this were the case, most soccer players in other countries would be underrated to Americans and most cricket players would be underrated as well. I am a worldwide/global person, so you have to take these things into account on the underratedness scale.

Second, that guy has to resonate in a unique way with his fans, even as nobody outside that circle realizes the degree of his resonation. (And if I just made up that word, so be it.) Third, he needs to make you think, I bet that dude would be really fun to follow on an everyday basis, except hardly anyone is actually thinking that.

Shockingly, Bill's three parts of the underrated definition are all completely subjective and incredibly impossible to prove are incorrect. I will try anyway.

That last characteristic is a little tough to understand. I will explain. Any NBA fan knows Derrick Rose is going to be unbelievable. He will be either a poor man's Magic or a rich man's (not to mention drug-free) Micheal Ray Richardson. He plays in a big market. He's been appropriately covered. He's played on national TV a few times. He's drawn his share of raves. He's probably going to be Rookie of the Year, unless voters stupidly buy O.J. Mayo's me-myself-and-I routine. Rose, therefore, is properly rated, non-Chicago fans being sufficiently envious of Bulls fans and sufficiently appreciative of his skills (as well as his resonation).

Every NBA fan knows Rose will be great, that is just assumed. No need to even discuss this when Bill is trying to prove a point, just get the well known crap out of the way so he can throw a completely egregiously wrong example of his own in our face. Rose is properly rated because he will be voted Rookie of the Year and his team is on national television, that's Bill's opinion.

But Kevin Durant—now, he's a different story. For someone to be truly underrated, we have to feel as if we've already thought him through, digesting him before arriving at a conclusion and moving on.

Kind of like you just assuming Rose is rated perfectly because his team plays on national television and how you just digested him as a great athlete, named him Rookie of the Year and then moved on?

If anyone expected the two examples Bill threw out there to NOT be players he has hyped up in his columns before, well then you don't know Bill Simmons. You would think the players could be properly rated by being talked about in Bill Simmons column frequently, being the National Player of the Year in college basketball as a freshman, being taken #2 in the NBA Draft, being named Rookie of the Year in the NBA, or being paid $4.5 million dollars this year to play pro basketball. You would be wrong in Bill's eyes, because Kevin Durant is just so much more.

Kevin Durant is underrated, even though he won Rookie of the Year, and it is probably because his team does not play on national television. Why? Well, mostly national television shows Celtics games.

Durant won the argument by default after Oden missed his rookie season with a knee injury, then struggled enough this season to get us all wondering if he's better than even Bynum (a guy I just called overrated).

Who the fuck is "us all?" Not me, because I don't have a massive grudge against Greg Oden and realize a 20 year old kid coming off major knee surgery on a playoff caliber team is not going to need to put up great numbers and the team is going to let him slowly get back in the flow of the game and not rush him. Also, what a shocker that Bill thinks a Los Angeles Laker is overrated. I know it could never have been a Celtic, they are all sufficiently rated.

Meanwhile, Durant won ROY playing for a disintegrating franchise and currently toils in obscurity in a new town for a team that is the dregs of the league.

Exactly, he played for a crappy franchise in a dying market and people still thought enough of him to vote him Rookie of the Year. He is properly rated.

Ask the average fan to tell you who will be the best player in the NBA in three years, and the first five answers will be LeBron, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, D-Wade and either Rose or Carmelo.

If anyone needs further proof that Bill is just absolutely full of shit, I want to know why no one would say Kobe is in this group in Bill's fake poll of what everyone thinks. Bill has such a hard-on to prove his point he doesn't even include Kobe as one of the best players in the league in his fake poll.

(How does he know what everyone thinks? Well Simmonsologists know that Bill can read minds and knows what you are thinking right now. That's why his columns don't allow comments, he doesn't need your comment, he knows what you are going to say.)

I don't see Durant getting many votes.

Probably because this is a fake poll that you made up to prove a point you want to make. I don't see Kobe get a lot of votes either in your "I can read your mind" poll either. Since you neither polled real people nor included arguably the best player in the NBA, I say this poll sucks.

Got it? Now look at those point totals: 28, 25, 26, 26, 28, 26, 25 … You know in Jaws when Richard Dreyfuss calls the shark an "eating machine"? Durant is a scoring machine.

Yes, he can score. Everyone knows this but this doesn't make you underrated. Also, shots can be a component of how many times you shoot. Durant is on a shitty team, so he naturally shoots a lot, so he scores a lot. Points are overrated.

He has more career buzzer-beaters than LeBron. Trust me, it's true.

Maybe this is sarcasm, maybe not, either way, there is no way I can easily check to see if this is true.

Know also that NBA players peak between ages 25 and 29. So what's Durant's realistic peak? Will he average 33 a game on percentages of 55-90-50? Will he average 36 ppg? Thirty-eight? Seriously, where does this go? Nobody's discussing that. Nobody's even acknowledging it. And that makes Kevin Durant totally, completely, unequivocally underrated.

Who the hell is "nobody?" I will gladly talk to anyone about how good Kevin Durant is going to be.

How ironic is it that Bill spends a good portion of his columns talking about New England area teams and ESPN lets him, but he also complains in his non-New England writing time that no one pays attention to the little guy like Kevin Durant? I find it ironic since his entire writing career has been based on focusing on one select area of the country, he gets angry when no one pays attention to other teams.

By my count, Durant is one of only two athletes who are actually underrated. The other? Manny Ramirez.

This is so absurd and inherently wrong, I can't even begin to describe it. Every move Manny made this summer was analyzed and he even got votes for NL MVP despite only playing 50 games in that league. How can a guy who champions Kevin Durant as underrated, then throw Manny Ramirez in that same argument? He can't do that and expect me to take him seriously.

Just look at the stats. He's three quality seasons away—90 HRs, 300 RBIs, 550 hits and a .900 OPS—from becoming the greatest righthanded hitter ever.

First off, he has to sign with a team before he can play three more seasons and the reason he hasn't is because he wants $22.5 million dollars and a four year contract. Is that the sign someone is underrated when they ask for that much money? How about the fact he signed a $160 million dollar contract with the Red Sox? How is he underrated at that point?

Second, Manny is widely viewed as one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time. I am not going to debate Bill's fake numbers because they have not happened yet, but suffice to say Manny is going to the Hall of Fame. He is not underrated.

And no one who saw him in all his Ruthian glory with the Dodgers last summer or reach base 24 of 36 times in October can honestly say he's washed up.

And no one has.

And yet nobody wants him after his messy divorce with Boston—a divorce that, by the way, the Red Sox cannot escape without blame. Manny gave them seven quality years and two titles, and they yanked him around in Year 8. No, he didn't handle it well; I'm not sure I would have handled it well either.

Wow. Bill does not blame Manny and blames the Red Sox. Anyone remember this? It was all Scott Boras' fault wasn't it? Every little bit. Read it again and see if it jives with Bill's new opinion that the Red Sox jerked him around.

The Angels, who need him more than anyone, claim they're fine with Juan Rivera. Really?

He wants too much money and the fact he allegedly quit on the Red Sox last year really doesn't make a $20 million investment seem all that wise. Sure, it would make the Angels better but you can't blame them for not breaking the bank on Manny.

He will draw fans to any ballpark, and nobody is interested. You can say it's because he's a cancer; I say it's because he's unequivocally underrated.

So because Manny is not getting signed as a free agent, that makes him underrated? I guess we can include Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Ben Sheets, and dozens of other players who have not signed with teams as underrated as well. Good thinking Bill!

He will soon find a team and prove one of us right.
And it's going to be me.

I want to scream in Bill's ear and then step on his foot. Nobody is arguing that Manny is a bad hitter or won't help out a team if he signed with them. That is not the issue. Right now, money is the key issue and the fact that Manny is really weird, so it makes teams nervous. He is not underrated, maybe misunderstood if anything.


Miserable Bastard said...

Durant is just another example of Simmons' track record of falling in love with a player in college, and then talking about them obsessively until every one of his readers is sure he is right. This also happened with Carmelo Anthony, who strangely enough, is just enterting his prime and is in his third straight year of declining scoring. Luckily, he's just as awful at defense, rebounding, passing, and attitude as he was coming in to the league... Kind of like Durant will be.

Bengoodfella said...

That is exactly what he does. Then he tries to ram those players down everyone's throat. You are right. What is funny is that Simmons chose two players he talks about frequently in his columns. I would think if somebody was underrated, it would be someone who rarely gets mentioned.

Durant plays for a crappy team, that is the only reason he gets no publicity, but he is not underrated by anyone. Good comparison with Carmelo Anthony too.

To say Manny Ramirez is underrated is beyond incorrect in my opinion. That is bordering on absurd.

Anonymous said...

Durant has more buzzer beaters than LeBron. LeBron sucks so bad. Manny is not playing because he's underrated. Exactly. I am sure it has nothing at all to do with teams playing the waiting game and hoping to snag him for $20 or 30M less than he wants right now. I am a Mets fan and I am terrified of signing Manny. Not because of his rating factor but because since this is it for Manny, no more contracts to play for, there may be no motivation. Seriously, this will be his last baseball payday. How does he stay motivated. I like Manny too. Like watching him hit. That said, he may be OVERrated! Great right handed hitter, yeah. At best, though, he's the 3rd best RH hitter in baseball.

This article really sucks.

Edward said...

Glad you got to Simmons, Ben. Like I said in my comment to the previous post, Durant, if anything, is overrated by the casual fan and hype-generating "expert" who judges players solely by points scored.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know if Manny is overrated or not but I will tell you that I will never, ever think he is underrated. Ever. When you are giving a guy like that such a huge contract and he has a history of flaking out over money, there is going to be some hesitation but it doesn't mean he is underrated.

I don't know about him being potentially the best RH hitter of all time. That is pushing it, even with the numbers Bill threw out there. Willie May is still the greatest in my mind, if not Hank Aaron. I really don't know how his editors let him get away with this crap.

Edward, I am completely with you, I don't like points as a way to determine whether a player is good or not. I am beyond tired of Simmons trumping Durant as the next big thing. Sure, he can score and do other things well, but that is about it at this point. To not put Kobe on that list of best players in the NBA is just dumb.

Anonymous said...

While Gregg is an idiot and his team is terrible, Derrick Mason is actually a good choice

Derrick Mason

2 time Pro Bowl selection. Signed as UNRESTRICTED free agent by Ravens in 2005 after Titans decided not give him large enough contract offer. Too expensive, not unwanted.

Actually, Derrick Mason actually was released by the Titans because they were over the cap by a ton. He was part of the purge that they had in 2005 which sent them into the dregs of the league. It was because his contract was already so large. He was not an unrestricted free agent.

This is the story

Sorry to nitpick, but I had to mention it.

Bengoodfella said...

Really? That is what I get from getting my information from Wikipedia then. Here's the quote from his wikipedia page and I thought I remembered him as a free agent.

"Mason signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an unrestricted free agent on March 7 2005."


Maybe I should go to more reliable sources next time. Good catch but I honestly feel better knowing I researched it and I just went to an unreliable source. I guess he became that unrestricted free agent after he got cut.

Still a good catch.

The Casey said...

I'm surprised Easterbrook didn't blast the Titans for letting a telent like Pacman Jones get away. It's crazy that players have the freedom to move from one team to another. Free agency is the worst thing to ever happen to the NFL!


Also, the word Simmons is looking for is resonance. Resonance, Bill.

Bengoodfella said...

I know. He seems to think the only reason a team would let a player go is because they don't think he is talented anymore. Which is, of course, wrong.

Bill Simmons can't spell resonance. I am still amazed he felt the need to say Manny Ramirez was underrated.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I remember Mason being released by the Titans. He was a good player for them and they wanted him, but they knew the team was going to suck for a couple years cause the cap numbers they were going to have to deal with were outrageous. You don't keep a wide out when the rest of the team is falling down around you.

I'm convinced that Gregg doesn't remember that there is such a thing as a salary cap and that some good players are let go by teams because they don't really have a choice.

Durant is a good player, but Bill acts as if he discovered Michael Jordan playing for North Texas State Tech off a grainy youtube video. As someone pointed out earlier, the kid has been given about a half dozen awards the last 18 months. How the hell is this underrated? Bill seems to think that because Durant "might" be a fantastic player in teh future, we are underating him right now. Bill, you can't underate someone based on results he hasn't yet put up.

Manny. People might not appreciate Manny as much as they should, but I don't think any baseball person or heavy intrest fan has ever underated Manny.

Anonymous said...

Simmons is my new super LOL guy who doesn't make me laugh. I like how he chose two players who suck at defense except for one part each (Durant is an ok shotblocker... ok, maybe I'm just making stuff up so it goes along with what I'm saying, a la Simmons; and Manny's arm is above-average, as per John Walsh's arm ratings on The Hardball Times) and thus give back a decent amount of their offensive value.

If Simmons wanted to look at players who are actually "underrated", maybe he should've done some research or something like that. I guess him just crapping on the computer is good enough for him and ESPN.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I clearly did not remember Mason being cut by the Titans, and again, the sad part is I actually researched that part (what I thought was) pretty well so I would not look like an ass. Oh well...I still say he was wanted. That salary cap is a bitch.

Durant, if I am not wrong on this, was the first freshman to win the PoY award, so that is in no way an underrating of him. I think people may take Manny for granted a little bit because of his goofy personality but he is definitely not underrated.

Aaron, I did not even think that both of those players were not good on defense. I was actually going to put something in there about Durant's defense stinking and that is why he is not underrated but he does block shots well and defense is so hard to really grasp a hold of on a statistical level. Manny may have a great arm in LF but he still makes it look like an adventure when a ball is hit to him.

I don't think Simmons wanted to actually look at players who were underrated, he just wanted to pimp his favorites, so he did.

Unknown said...

You are totally right about the Titans having wanted Mason, just their hand was forced.

Also, no idea if you watch tennis at all, but I can't sleep and this Nadal/Verdasco match is fantastic halfway through the third set.

Bengoodfella said...

Even though he is 35, I would still like to have Derrick Mason on my team.

I love to watch tennis but I have never really watched that much of the Australian Open for some reason. I prefer the other three majors a little bit more. Nadal fascinates me to watch though, simply because I love the way he plays tennis. I don't dislike Federer but he seem(ed) to dominate players in such a boring way I never liked him that much. I do like Nadal though. I still remember how Bill Simmons wrote that column about how tennis was boring and then Federer and Nadal had that 5 set epic match. It's like they wanted to prove him wrong as quickly as possible.