Thursday, June 4, 2009

16 comments NBA Finals Preview With ESPN "Experts"

I thought about live blogging or live chatting Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Saturday night but I have no idea how to do that. A running blog that I post the next day would bore me, maybe do something so I can talk about the game that constantly updates and if anyone else wants to talk we can. I don't even know if Blogger has this capability or not. If so, please email me or put it in the comments. I've always wondered if Blogger has the capacity for a Live Chat or Live Blog. Even if I am the only one talking, I think I would have fun...and it is all about me.

Bill Simmons had a NBA Finals column up yesterday and instead of making up fake emails from normal people, he decided to make up fake emails from famous people.

I tried to do something similar when I first started writing on this here blog and I have to say Bill's fake mailbag worked marginally better than mine did...though that is not saying a whole lot. He hashes a lot of the things he thinks out in answering the questions, so I don't want to waste my time too much arguing with him, like I usually do. Feel free to mention things that pissed you off or you liked in the comments though. It's like a book club for Bill Simmons. I will start. Bill was absolutely convinced if the Celtics had Garnett they would have beat the Magic. It's very possible, but like many of Bill's proclamations, we will never know. It's not that he thinks the Celtics would have won, it was the strong language he used in the fake mailbag in saying how they would beat the Magic. I am too lazy to look it up but it was strong language and I am not as sure as he is.

The Orlando Sentinal has the most embarrassing column I have seen in a while up on their site. It is a guide for bandwagon fans so they don't feel left out when cheering for their new favorite team. Here it is and feel free to feel bad for any long time Magic fans. All two of them. I don't generally like to make fun of fan bases for not being hardcore enough, but if your local paper has to write a column on the basics of the NBA so you can cheer for the local team AND they call it jumping on the bandwagon in the article, there is something wrong.

ESPN got together many of their "experts" and had a panel to answer 10 questions about the NBA Finals. I read it and noticed I did not agree with some of the answers given and also wanted to give my non-expert answers as well. Let's see how it went when you get all these geniuses in the brain together for a grand old NBA Finals preview.

1. True or false? Rafer Alston is a better point guard right now than Derek Fisher.

Is there an option C? Why yes, there is. I think Jameer Nelson is normally better than Derek Fisher but I obviously haven't seen him play in a while, so I can't speak for how good he will be if he plays in the series. I wonder if this is a fakeout the Magic are using, much like the Celtics tried to fake out the Magic by pretending Garnett may make a surprise appearance during the series? Probably not...but assuming Nelson doesn't play, I think Alston is a better point guard right now.

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: True.

Alston had a 26-point game versus Cleveland. I don't see Fish going off like that these days.

Yes, and we all know scoring is all that a point guard is required to do for a team. Way to measure a point guard's worth J.A., which here stands for "Jack Ass."

Ric Bucher, ESPN The Magazine: False.

"Skip" is a better spot-up shooter. Right now. Fisher is still the better decision-maker, a point guard's most important job.

Well, Bucher is using better logic than Adande but if Fisher were a good decision maker, he would have convinced Phil Jackson to trade for a better point guard than him much earlier in the year. I am kidding of course...though I do think Farmar/Brown should be getting more of Fisher's minutes than they currently have been.

2. True or false? Hedo Turkoglu is a better small forward right now than Trevor Ariza.

Maybe I undervalue Ariza, and overvalue Turkoglu but this is uber-true in my book. Ariza may do more of the small things like hit wide open three point shots and not underachieve anymore, but I think Turkoglu is playing better right now.

Adande: True.

For proof, see who gets the ball in his hands more during crunch time.

Adande again decides to use a stupid statement that proves I am not 100% sure he knows how to measure a basketball player's worth. Just because Turkoglu gets the ball in crunch time more does not necessarily mean he is a better small forward right now than Ariza. Turkoglu gets the ball because the Magic are desperately afraid to get the ball in the hands of Dwight Howard with under 4 minutes left in the game.

Hollinger: False.

He's a better fit for what the Magic do, which is why Orlando traded Ariza but made Turkoglu the go-to guy for all its pick-and-roll schemes. But Ariza has outranked Turkoglu in player efficiency rating two of the past three seasons, plays better D and is quietly shooting 50 percent on 3s in the playoffs.

Anytime I hear about player efficiency it reminds me (as always) of when Bill Simmons said any measurement that did not have the Celtics as the #1 team in the NBA needed to be redone until that result is given. He probably still feels that way, but I still think it is a funny statement...since they are not in the NBA Finals nor were they in the Eastern Conference Finals this year. (I know, they did not have Garnett...I still think it is funny and remember, I am a closeted Celtics fan, so I am not being a hater)

3. True or false? Rashard Lewis is a better power forward right now than Pau Gasol.

Well since Lewis is probably better suited as a small forward, and even as a power forward Gasol is better than Lewis, I am going to say false.

I don't like the matchup on Lewis for Gasol, but I think Gasol will have a similar matchup advantage on the other end of the court and I think Gasol has a larger advantage because I have a feeling he may attempt to play defense. The wild card? Lamar Odom of course, because he can guard Lewis fairly well. I am not even sure he is aware the NBA Finals start tonight though.

Abbott: False.

Every time Gasol gets the ball, he's efficient with it.

There you go. No explanation needed (apparently), Gasol is efficient with the ball.

4. True or false? Mickael Pietrus is a better role player right now than Lamar Odom.

No. As much as I love Pietrus' defense, his offensive game is too limited to really be a better role player than Lamar Odom, who if he wakes up in time for the game, is an incredibly valuable weapon off the bench. Odom is a better player and a better role player. Let's face it, Pietrus is not going to get those wide open three point shots against the Lakers...at least not as often as he did against the Cavs.

Sheridan: False.

Odom will play starter's minutes and spend a lot of time defending Lewis, and he has the luxury of expending most of his energy on the defensive end. Whatever points he can produce in the flow of the triangle will be gravy.

Chris Sheridan just avoided the question. At least he did not create an entirely new question like JemeHill and Scoop Jackson did when previewing the Eastern/Western Conference Finals.

5. True or false? Dwight Howard is a better player right now than Kobe Bryant.

False. Let's recap very quickly. Dwight Howard just got done abusing Anderson Varejo, Big Z, Joe Smith, and Ben Wallace, while in the Boston series he only had a slight advantage over Kendrick Perkins. Howard played well in the Cavs series but he also played against four guys he was much, much better than. He is going to have a slightly harder time in this series against Gasol and Bynum. The Magic even won a game on the road without Howard. Could the Lakers win a game in the playoffs on the road without Kobe? I doubt it. Kobe is clearly better in my book.

My big question is who gets off the bench first? Redick or Morrison? I say Redick.

Abbott: False.

But it's closer than you think.

I don't think it is close at all, so it may actually be closer than I think.

Bucher: False.

When Howard beats double-teams, makes game winners and orchestrates his team's offense, this will become a relevant question.

I don't know if this was an insult or just a really coy way of saying they play two different positions and it is hard to compare the two...which I agree with, it is hard to compare these two, but I say Kobe.

Hollinger: False.

And I would say false if you were to ask the opposite question, too.

Yeah, because that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. One question has to be true. How hard is it to answer questions as true or false? Did John Hollinger ever attempt to take the SAT's or any other type of exam?

Truth is, they're almost perfectly equal at this point in their careers. They've played to a draw on PER during the past two seasons, and both have had huge moments in the playoffs. Howard is the more dominant defender, while Kobe is the better weapon down the stretch.

I think Kobe is not quite the player that he used to be and that he is now more of a jump shooter, but it still works well for him. I also think Howard is not quite the dominant defender one-on-one everyone thinks he is. Kendrick Perkins took it to him aggressively and that's how you play him. Gasol will do the same thing, maybe a little more passively but I still see him as being effective. Howard's is great on weak side help defense and that is why they can afford to have Lewis play PF, because Howard is there to man the middle.

Stein: False.

Howard has to do it on this stage before we believe that, unfair as it might seem after he absolutely disassembled LeBron's Cavs with never-before-seen clutch and dominance.

I really hope he means never-before-seen clutch and dominance by Dwight Howard over a team as compared to Dwight Howard, because it wasn't all-time NBA dominance by Howard compared to other dominating performances in the playoffs...at least not in my opinion.

6. True or false? Stan Van Gundy is a better coach right now than Phil Jackson.

Better coach right now? This is a tough one. I will say Van Gundy because I never thought this team would play defense well enough to be in the NBA Finals. Though his in-game management does need a little help. I don't think I have ever even evaluated Jackson's in-game management to be honest, and though I am impressed how he has managed egos in the past, I think Van Gundy is better right now...in-game problems be damned...and because I have lowered the bar for him.

Adande: False.

Jackson keeps standing tall at the end. And who would make you feel more comfortable if you were to look at the sideline in a close game?

I am continuously amazed at how J.A. Adande measures a player and a coach's worth. Who would make me feel more comfortable on the sidelines? It doesn't freaking matter. Who is the better coach is what matters. I don't even know what standing tall has to do with anything really.

7. True or false? The Magic's offense is better right now than the Lakers'.

I say false. The Magic offense is really clicking right now and they look hard to stop. Whether that is a result of playing the Cavs, who they matched up well with, I don't really know. The Lakers seemed to struggle at times against the Nuggets, though they are "improved" on defense, but I think the Lakers offense is more complex than the Magic offense, which seems to be based entirely on getting the ball to Howard and then shooting 3 point shots as much as possible.

Adande: True.

They finally found the ideal combination of inside and outside game.

Man, I am all over Adande today. Yes, the ideal combination of inside and outside being defined as "getting the ball close enough to the basket for Howard to dunk and having the three point shooters shoot shots at a rapid fire pace."

8. True or false? The Magic's defense is better right now than the Lakers'.

I say false. I think the Lakers did a great job against the Nuggets but the Rockets series did scare me for the Lakers hopes a little bit though. Actually, both of these teams scared me in the Conference Semi-Finals series and scared me enough to wonder how they got where they are now.

Abbott: True.

Howard is the best defender in the NBA, but there's plenty of length and everybody plays hard.

I still say LeBron James is better.

Ford: True.

The Magic don't look like a great defensive team at first blush, but they've really been brilliant this season. If they can figure out how to slow down Kobe the way they slowed down LeBron, the Magic can pull this one out.

The Magic actually did not slow down LeBron James. James had a very good series. James had very little help from his teammates, which is a situation that Kobe may not experience because he has several guys like Odom, Bynum, Gasol, and others who can score as well. I think the Lakers supporting cast is stronger than LeBron's supporting cast was.

9. True or false? The Magic are playing better right now than the Lakers.

Right now, I think the Magic are playing better. I don't know what that means for this series though.

Abbott: True.

Although it depends what you mean by "right now."

The only definition there is, "at present."

Abbott must be trying to do his best Bill Clinton impression and argue semantics with the questioner.

The way the Lakers played in Game 6 to eliminate Denver might be the best anybody has played all playoffs long. But they have been up and down.

So the Lakers are better right now?

The Magic won an elimination game on the road without Howard in Philly.

That was literally a month ago, which is not even closely defined as "right now."

They were down 3-2 to the defending champs and got the big victory in Boston freaking Garden. Then they made short work of the best team in the NBA.

So the Magic are better right now? We actually get no answer from Mr. Abbott. He has the understanding that if he writes a whole lot maybe no one will notice he never actually answered the question.

10. True or false? The Magic can and will beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

I have thought about this a lot and I really don't have a lot of faith in either of these teams. If the 3 point shots stop falling for the Magic, they are screwed. If Odom doesn't show up and the role players for the Lakers don't do their thing, they are screwed as well because then Kobe starts taking 40 shots per game and that is not the way for them to win.

For me, a lot of the series comes down to whether Andrew Bynum can be a big boy and handle Dwight Howard one-on-one even for a short period of time. I realize he is getting help from Gasol and others, but really if Bynum and company can get him under control without the Lakers having to double team him, it should help in shutting down the 3 point shooters for the Magic. I would personally not double team Howard and rely on my inside guys to be able to stop him one-on-one and I may be in the minority on this one. The Magic were down 20+ points to the Cavs three times in that series and came back during the game. I don't think the Lakers will allow them to come back. Lakers in 6 games. I want to say 5 games, but will go with them in 6.

Broussard: False.

The Magic can beat the Lakers, but I believe that the Lakers will win in seven.

Ok smartass. Any team CAN beat another team, but will they is really what the question meant.

Hollinger: Half-false.

They absolutely can beat the Lakers, but I don't think they will.

Ford: False.

Yes, the Magic can beat the Lakers, and I expect the series to be very competitive. But, false, I believe that the Lakers will win the series in six games.

They all answered that way. "Well they can win, but they won't." That annoys me.

Adande: True and false.

They can beat the Lakers but won't without home-court advantage and Finals experience.

More brilliance by Adande. He gives two factors that have nothing to do with basketball ability from players on either team that will decide the series.

The consensus is that the Magic are going to lose to the Lakers. I really want to pick the Magic but I think the Lakers will get it done because they will do a great job of controlling Howard and the 3 point shooters for Orlando...easier said than done, but I think they will do an adequate enough job to beat Orlando in 6 games.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

One week ago Simmons was longing for the days of yore when players determined the outcome of big playoff games rather than officials.

So how does he start off this week's "mailbag"? By complaining about how terrible the calls were on Wade in '06 and LJ in '99 in key playoff games. Nice consistency douchebag.

Bengoodfella said...

I noticed that as well and would like to think that I would have mentioned it if I covered the column. I don't have as much of a problem with the 2006 one, since he bitches about that a lot, but I would think that '99 LJ would fall under the days of yore when the officiationg was good and did not determine the outcome of games.

I may need a timeline to see when he thinks officiating got bad. I probably should think of one for myself as well, so I can reference when I think the officiating got bad.

Jeremy Conlin said...

In defense of Simmons (WOAH! Who saw that coming?!?!?), at the time he was saying that any system that didn't rank the Celtics at #1, the Celtics were 27-2, good for the best start in NBA history. So I'd say his grievance was warranted.

As for his faux-mailbag, I thought the Denzel thing was a waste of space, and I thought the Chris Wallace thing was stupid, but I thought he was right on the money about Lamar Odom (if he comes up huge, the Lakers win, anything less, they lose) as well as Chauncey Billups (throws up way too many stinkbombs to be considered an elite guard anymore).

Also, anyone who says they didn't laugh at the "Redick! Morrison!" joke is lying. It's that simple.

I'd also like to thank Simmons for finally writing about Shannon Brown. One of the few things that bother me about Simmons is that he waits waaayyyyy too long to write about specific under-the-radar guys. My two examples: Shannon Brown and Anthony Randolph.

Randolph, coming out of college, was a potential blue-chipper, but I don't think anyone thought he was a sure-thing (including me). After all, he wasn't that different from Brandan Wright, and Wright hasn't done much. But for some reason that I can no longer remember, I happened to catch two back-to-back Golden State games in November, and in each, Randolph had 4-6 different plays that made me say "wow, this kid IS going to be really good." Any rookie that can make me say "wow" 10 times in two games is going to be a special player. He just is. Well, unless his name is Vince. Now, Simmons probably watches somewhere between 11 and 14 times as much basketball as I do, but for some reason, he never mentioned Randolph once (not once!) until March 11th, and then didn't mention him again until March 30th. You'd think that if Randolph is such a special player (like he wrote on March 30th), he'd mention him before that, right?

Same thing with Shannon Brown. He gave me a similar impression toward the end of the regular season when his minutes started to go up. I obviously don't think he can ever be a franchise player (like Randolph might be able to), but I'm 99% positive he could be a solid 5th wheel on a really good team. And I knew this two months ago. What I've seen from him in the playoffs cemented this. But Simmons, who pumps out NBA columns at the rate that Angelina adopts babies, never mentions him once until the Finals preview.

Now here's my problem. If Simmons knows about these guys as early as I do (which is likely, considering that's his effing job), why the hell wouldn't he write about them? It's not like he's employed by a team and doesn't want to give away trade secrets. Is he afraid that Randolph or Brown are going to turn out to not be that good? Who the hell cares? I pimped New Orleans since the pre-season and they threw up two huge middle fingers in the playoffs. I was wrong. I got over it. I've been talking (and occasionally writing) about Randolph constantly since November and Brown since late March. Why hasn't Simmons? And that's my complaint about Bill Simmons. There. You got one out of me.

I will now go puke blood.

Bengoodfella said...

I remember Simmons' grievance and I just thought it was funny how he said it, that's really all. He may have had a point, but I have agreed with him too much lately and I might get sick if I do it again.

I agree with the Odom thing, he is the key to the series because he can defend Rashard Lewis and the Magic don't have anything close to him coming off the bench for them.
I did not laugh at the Morrison-Redick thing. I am a Duke fan and it just hurts too much at this point. I still bet Redick gets off the bench at some point.

I think your grievance with Simmons is warranted. My problem with him from a college basketball perspective is that he picks the blue chip guys to cheer for and then acts like he has been the one telling everyone about them. Hence Durant, Love, and Russell Westbrook. As far as Randolph goes, I wasn't sure he should have gone into the draft last year and I had him somewhere in the early teens in my mock draft last year. I actually wasn't that high on him, I thought he was Brendan Wright Part 2, which of course he turned out to be a little bit more skilled than the UNC guy I unaffectionately called "Donkey."

I read your post about Shannon Brown before Simmons wrote his, I will give you that. Brown kind of surprised me a little in the pros, I thought the Cavs gave up on him a little quickly in my opinion. I obviously don't know what he did to make them think he wasn't going to be good, but he has a pro build even if he was viewed as a semi-tweener. He looks like he could be a bargain this summer on the FA market...or he could get paid and get lazy.

I do think Bill avoids writing about some of these guys that he thinks might be good in case it looks like they might bust so he isn't wrong. I personally don't mind being wrong. But then, he writes about them after others have found out about the players and he acts as if he has unearthed a gem of a player no one knew about, when in fact people who follow the NBA knew about that player.

I think I have stated it earlier but the two players I liked in this year's draft are Ty Lawson (whose stock is falling) and I think I am starting to like Terrence Williams more. I think overall a guy like Damion James is going to be able to really help a team out in a couple of years. I do wish Simmons would show off some his knowledge more but I think he is just very afraid to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Simmons and draft picks is with the exception of Kevin Durant, he applies retrospective knowledge to all.

In an earlier column, he was praising Aaron Brooks and made some throwaway comment of how dumb GMs are for overlooking a guy that could score in college and shoot close to 50%. Well, Bill, doesn't that describe Redick and Morrison? So, he basically makes up a rule to seem very smart with Brooks but also openly makes fun of busts like Redick and Morrison that represent that rule.

Same with projects -- he'll ridicule a guy like Yi or Joe Alexander as reaches based entirely on potential. But he goes to the mat for Anthony Randolph once it's clear he'll be a decent pro. He was just as much of a project as those other guys -- he just happened to look good after the fact.

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, thank you anon. That's the type of stuff I was talking about. He uses hindsight to prove that he was right. I thought about that example of Aaron Brooks when I was talking in my earlier comment. He mentioned that Brooks could beat guys off the dribble and get to the basket as well, except Morrison did some of that in college.

I am not going to criticize him tremendously for not going out on a limb, but he talks about Randolph after he turns out to be a decent pro but doesn't like any of the other projects that he sees. He has rules that can bend depending on the player he is talking about.

Jeremy, you and I both wish he would go to the mat for these guys before he finds out if they will be good or not.

the right reverend said...

Unlike Bill Simmons, I don't believe in jinxing teams, so I'll just ask, is this blog going to lose its edge now that the braves are the best team in the NL?

the right reverend said...

(when chipper is healthy) allah willing

the right reverend said...

sorry for doing this again should have just went with one comment, but you gotta like how the braves look right now. I'm not a born fan rather someone who bet on them before the year. The one hole in the lineup is obviously Francoeur, but you would have to think that this trade sets up the ideal scenario to get Francoeur out of the lineup: Mclouth to RF and Blanco/Schafer in CF, or even some kind of platoon situation where Mclouth plays CF against LHPs. That team is pretty defensively strong, and the lineup at least against RHPs I think is better than any other in the NL, even the Phillies.

And the faults of the other players can be addressed. If you're not happy with Johnson, then you sit him against LHPs like Cox was doing and play Infante. If Kotchman disappoints, you can plug in Prado against LHPs. What I'm trying to point out is it should be easy for the manager to put this group of players in a position to succeed. They probably have one of the 3 or 4 best backup catchers in the league.

I haven't even gotten to the rotation. Vazquez apparently doesn't enjoy talking to the scum media and has been the unluckiest pitcher of the decade (had to happen to someone). But I think he's one of the best 5 starters in the NL right now, he is on one of the most dominant runs of his career. And then behind him the braves literally have like 12 or 13 starting pitchers that would be immediately plugged into the Mets or Phillies starting rotations, its just sick (I am including Hudson here, I haven't heard anything about him). The depth in pitching is amazing. The bullpen is kinda meh but whatever a trade is easy in August and with all those nice arms (i.e. Medlen) someone can be found to pitch two months of relief this summer. I'm excited, go braves!

Bengoodfella said...

I think I am still in shock that you referred to this blog having an "edge." If you mean, am I going to ever start turning this into a blog where I cover my favorite teams and start over ranking them...that will never happen. I do tend to put out articles that Braves writers produce because many of them are of inferior quality, but that is about it. If I ever became a fan boy, I would shoot myself.

In relation to the Braves, I am kind of a hypocrite because I never wanted them to sign Glavine and I want them to break with the past, which they did, but I did not like the way they released him really...he had gotten so close to getting back and they got rid of him. But they did get rid of the past like I wanted.

I don't think I see the Braves as now the clear frontrunner in the NL East. They MAY have caught up with the other teams but they still need to prove they can hit the ball and if Chipper can't stay healthy all bets are off. Everyone is crowing about Tommy Hanson coming up but I can't help but think it is going to take a few weeks to get his feet under him and he may have a few bumps on the way. Other than that, I do feel good about the starting pitching and the bullpen should be better than it presently is. I told someone the other day, one of my reasons for confidence is that the old Braves teams with Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux were built for a season of winning day after day, while I feel like this pitching staff is built for a playoff series. They have a couple of power arms as starters and an efficient guy who can make three starts if absolutely necessary in a 7 game series in Lowe. They have to get there first of course.

The hitting is still going to frustrate me. Garrett Anderson needs to start showing something soon, Shafer is not coming back to the majors until he quits striking out, and Failcour needs to turn it around or sit down. I don't think Failcour will be out of the lineup any time soon. He plays good defense and the team is hoping he will turn it around, so we are more likely to see an Anderson, McLouth, Failcour outfield with Prado and Infante (when he comes back from injury) spelling time in the infield. It may work and I do like Prado and Infante in a platoon role but I have to see the hitting start before I get too excited.

I'm also one of the few people who like Kris Medlen as much as I like Tommy Hanson, so I am upset he is in the bullpen right now.

AJ said...

I'm not sure Atlanta is the team to beat in the NL...I don't see them beating out Phily in that division, or even the Mets. I don't even know what the big deal is about this trade. I saw that the Braves traded for an All Star, yet the guy was only an All Star cause he played on a crappy Pitt team. I dont know, to me any team that has Omar Infante as their best hitter is in trouble. We'll see, I just don't think they are better then Phily.

I can't comment much on Bills ummm mailbag? Since I really couldn't read much more then the first one and found it completely stupid. We get it, the refs suck, now shut up about it already. If they suck so much that all you talk about is them, go watch something else. Thats all people talk about, that the refs are worse then they have ever been. Of course you will feel that way when you think your team was screwed over recently. The fact is, they aren't worse, the problem is the NBA and their ridiculous rules. People sure do cry alot about them, even though the game has completly changed for the worse.

Its just to the point that people complaining about refs in every column gets old. Who cares about 1999, and if you still do then you have other issues in life and shouldn't concern yourself with sports. Stop crying, watch the game, and if you don't like it cuz your favorite team is no longer in it, stop watching. I know I didn't watch more then 20 mins last night cuz it's so boring to watch and all we get to hear is how great one player is.

Everyone misses the old days where no one was concerned with the shot clock and it was more like a run and gun game. Of course there were less fouls then, there were less chances for them. Now you have all these guys slowing down, dragging the shot clock with them, and trying to just muscle up shots with 4 people on them.

I'm going to make up my own mailbag, that will be fun.

Bengoodfella said...

AJ, I see you don't like Nate McLouth that much and I can't blame you. He did play for the Pirates and I can understand that. I guess we will see if he helps the Braves all that much. I think the Mets and Phillies have much better hitting than the Braves and I think the Braves pitching is better. I still think either the Mets are going to be the team to beat in that division.

I do miss the games when it was more run and gun, though defense was still played. I watched Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN Classic a few weeks ago and it was funny because the ball rarely got walked up and the pace of the game was more manic than today. It's never going to be that way again, we do just have to accept that. I think this is Bill's new soapbox and he is going to write about it a whole lot.

I agreed with his original column and I think I am about done bitching about the refs.

AJ said...

Well I never said I didn't like the guy, I was just pointing out how ESPN made it a big deal they traded for an All Star when the only real reason he was one was because every team has to have one. Lets be real, the guy is not an All Star. He will help them, he just isn't exactly someone who is going to put them over the top.

On a different topic, I've never understood about teams and failing to bring up young players to play and instead insist on using "experianced" players. Lets take a look at the Tigers, since I know them best...can someone explain how you can have a backup catcher that is hitting just over .100 on the roster? What purpose does he serve exactly? "he calls a good game" is not good enough for a big league player. Why won't the team call up a young future catcher? I understand he would play more in AAA, but he doesn't get the coaching he could get in the Majors.

I don't know, to me someone hitting just above .100 shouldn't be in the bigs.

Bengoodfella said...

AJ, I don't think McLouth is an All-Star either. I don't think he will put the Braves over the top that much, I just hope he provides some hitting and gets either Anderson or Failcoeur out of the lineup at some point...unless they start hitting of course. As long as he gets on base, I don't care. The guys the Braves traded were blocked anyway, so it was worth the trade in my mind. Well until they start playing well...I still can't watch any Texas Rangers games because half the team is ex-Braves prospects.

Teams love experienced players! The Braves played Corky Miller last year rather than let Clint Sammons get some at bats. It was stupid.

I don't know why Detroit doesn't call up Dusty Ryan, who seemed ready last year or at least give Alex Avila a shot...though from what I read about him, he may not be ready yet. I looked it up and Ryan hit .318 with the Tigers last year and he is 24 years old, while Dane Sardhina (who I am guessing is the person you have referenced) is 30 and sucks. Maybe teams don't call these guys up because they want experience calling a game or they don't think the others guys are ready. I am really not sure.

AJ said...

I think they dont call them up because they think they would play every 4th game instead of every game. This way they are getting more experiance in the minors that they wouldnt get in the majors.

I personally feel thats the dumbest argument ever for a player to not be on a big league roster. The goal is to field the best team possible with all of your players, not have some scrub who should be in A ball playing a major league game every 4th day. Why not just hit the pitcher? How much worse could they be up at the plate then a guy who gets one hit a month?

And yes I'm referring to Dane...he may be the worst player I have ever watched in the majors.

Bengoodfella said...

That is probably the reason they don't call the players up. They want them to get experience playing every day, rather than have them be a backup. It sort of make sense but it is frustrating when you have a backup catcher who can't hit the ball to save his life.

If I were a general manager or a manager I would probably rather have a guy on the roster who could fill in and actually perform well, but that is why I will never be hired for any important position...they disagree with me on this.