Thursday, November 5, 2009

7 comments Two For Thursday: Gene W. Strikes Back!...Sort Of

Well, Game 6 of the World Series was last night and finally maybe this 3 days’ rest controversy can end with the World Series ending with Pettitte pitching well and the Yankees winning. Great, just what we need, another New York Yankees World Series Championship. As I wrote the other day, I don’t get at all how everyone has been so up in arms over how much rest Andy Pettitte and AJ Burnett were going to get. Really Joe Girardi didn’t have a choice but start those three starters on three days’ rest because there is not a dependable fourth starter on the roster. So Girardi really shouldn’t have gotten crap for arranging the pitching staff the way he did, because he did the best that he could do with the pitchers he was given. It was more of an organizational failure that caused Girardi to pitch those three starters on three days’ rest than it was a bad managerial decision by Girardi.

This article has the problem exactly right and sort of shapes my thought and echos what I am saying. The author is referring to Mike Lupica who, not unexpectedly, wrote an article similar to Gene W.’s article about why Girardi is a first class idiot for relying on his best pitchers to win World Series games for him. Of course, he was wrong. My biggest question in all of this is when did Chad Gaudin become the next Cy Young? It is cool and popular to say that Pettitte was going to struggle on three days’ rest, and that was a possibility, but would Joba or Chad Gaudin have really been better options? Probably not, so that is exactly why Pettitte should have started Game 6 and that is exactly why Pettitte pitched well in the game. Before criticizing we have to look at the other options available and they weren't exactly plentiful.

After Burnett’s big blow up in Game 5, we all figured that Gene W. was feeling especially frisky and eager to show that he was ultimately right. So of course because Gene was right, he HAD to write a follow up column telling everyone how right he truly was. If you thought Tuesday’s column I covered was lazy journalism, just wait until you read this article, where Gene basically regurgitates statistics from his previous post, just copies and pastes interviews after the game, and tells everyone exactly how right he truly was. I don’t care that Game 6 is now over (and Gene was proven wrong), it doesn’t take away from the fact this is lazy journalism, and I can now mock Gene for being wrong about Pettitte pitching on three days' rest and mock him for his lazy journalism. He writes pretty much the exact same article he wrote previously except he now has one instance where Burnett got hammered working on three days' rest and he jumps all over it.

The chance to win a World Series-clinching Game 5 for the New York Yankees is meant for someone with XXL nerves. A.J. Burnett, who lasted all of six outs in Monday night's meltdown, was a size "small."

What an interesting way to begin an article which has the entire premise that it was three days’ rest which caused Burnett to not pitch well in Game 5. It's interesting because Gene blames Burnett’s failure on “nerves” and not on being tired from only getting three days’ rest. If you are paying attention at home, this sort of undermines the reason why starting Burnett on three days’ rest was a bad idea by blaming the Yankees loss on something other than his short rest.

It turns out the moment was too much -- way too much -- for the Yankees' No. 2 starter. This is why the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-6 winners on a chilled November night, have more than a pulse in this Series; they have an opportunity to pull off a baseball miracle.

Because Burnett’s nerves got the best of him and not the fact he was pitching on three days’ rest. I didn't say it, Gene did.

This is a great example of absolutely bad sportswriting. This would not be bad sportswriting only if from the age of 8 in any English class they taught students to think of a hypothesis or premise for an article and then undermine that premise in the very first sentence so your reader thinks you are an idiot. If this were true, Gene would be a model student and ESPN's Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism.

But first things first, such as asking the same question we asked days before Burnett took the mound for Game 5 and before Andy Pettitte was all but guaranteed the Game 6 start: What is Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinking?

If he meant “what is Brian Cashman thinking”, then this sentence would make sense. Joe Girardi did not construct this roster, choose which pitchers would pitch effectively for the Yankees that were worth signing or developing, nor is Girardi responsible for his starting pitching options.

Let’s think about this logically. Girardi was given a bonafide #1 starter (Sabathia), a bonafide #2 starter (Burnett), a guy who has made more postseason starts than many other pitchers in the history of MLB (Pettitte), a guy who hasn’t started a game and lasted longer than 5 innings in two months (Chamberlain), and a guy who is a questionable #5 starter on a non-playoff team (Gaudin)…who would you choose to pitch in the World Series? There are no other viable options available to Girardi if he actually wanted to win Game 6. So he went with Pettitte smartly and they won the game. I don't want to make a blanket statement but the effect of pitchers pitching on short rest can be overrated at times.

Both Girardi and Burnett insisted the short rest wasn't the reason for Burnett's struggles.

As did Gene when he stated Burnett struggled because of his nerves.

Burnett does have a history of huge performance swings, but don't the odds for something forgettable increase on fewer days' rest?

The odds of something forgettable occurring also increases if Chad Gaudin or Joba Chamberlain had pitched in Game 5 or Game 6.

And is it a good thing when you begin the biggest start of your career by giving up a liner to Jimmy Rollins on a 1-2 pitch? Then follow it up by nearly breaking every small bone in Shane Victorino's right hand? Then throwing a first-pitch dinger to home run machine Chase Utley?

Well obviously these are not good things. Gene shouldn’t be such a smart ass. I searched the Internet diligently for where Joe Girardi or AJ Burnett said that this was a good start to Game 5 and of course I couldn’t find anything because NO ONE EVER SAID THIS. We are trying to find out WHY Burnett got hit hard and my argument is because the Phillies are a really good hitting team and Burnett didn’t pitch well. Why didn’t he pitch well? He didn’t look like he had lost velocity and he certainly wasn’t tired in the first inning, so he just wasn’t placing his pitches well, which the cause of this can be chalked up to a variety of explanations...and not just the fact he was pitching on short rest. I wish I could find stats that said short rest is a little overrated.

(I need to go to a "Google search" class because I am always searching for things and can never find exactly what I am looking for.)

Then walking Ryan Howard, who entered the game with a sub-Mendoza Line batting average?

Yeah, because Ryan Howard has a bad batting average in the World Series he is no longer a good hitter. Let’s just ignore all the evidence during the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs and focus on the 4 game sample size prior to this game and say that Ryan Howard sucks and is an easy out.

The numbers said Burnett could handle it (he was 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA on short rest), but they didn't say anything about combining three days' rest with the pressures of a World Series Game 5 on the road.

Oh, so it was nerves AND short rest that caused this poor start. Obviously if Burnett had pitched in Game 6 on normal rest he wouldn’t have been nervous and pitched a no-hitter. That one day extra rest makes that much of a difference.

I am also sure a guy like Chad Gaudin who has never started a postseason game, and isn’t as good a pitcher as Burnett, would have been just fine in Game 5…or that is what Gene wanted you to believe.

Girardi tried to step on the Phillies' throat with Burnett rather than, say, Chad Gaudin.

Now he's going to bypass Gaudin again. It isn't a surprise –

Because Gaudin isn’t nearly as good a pitcher as Pettitte, Sabathia or Burnett? Or maybe these numbers are misleading and Gaudin is going to compete for the Cy Young award next year.

Gaudin, who didn't lose any of his six Yankees starts this season (he was 2-0), was phased out of the rotation weeks ago.

Wow, that IS impressive to be undefeated in six starts. Let’s look at some other numbers of Chad Gaudin with the Yankees to see how qualified he was to be a World Series starter (not that you have to have good numbers to be qualified but you get what I am saying).

3.43 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 1.5 HR/9, and a 1.70 SO/BB ratio. Plus, he is Chad Gaudin, which is the biggest strike against him in my book. The same guy who has a career ERA of 4.50, WHIP 1.516, and ERA+ of 93.

Also Gaudin wasn’t phased out of the rotation, he pitched regularly in the rotation from September 3 to September 28. He quit starting for the Yankees mostly because the playoffs started and the Yankees went to a 3 man rotation.

It's no more difficult than the spot Girardi put an overhyped and under-rested Burnett in. It's no more difficult than the spot he'll put an under-rested Pettitte in. Just so you know, Pettitte is 5-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 18 career short-rest starts.

Joe Girardi really hasn’t put anyone in a difficult spot. It was the Yankees pitchers who pitched ineffectively this year and the Yankees management which didn’t sign or develop a reliable fourth starter. Girardi is playing (and possibly overmanaging) the hand he was dealt. He started the guys he trusted on short rest and it worked out for him.

If we have these stats, so does Girardi. Yet he's willing to risk the World Series on it.

I would argue he was not risking the World Series any more than putting a mediocre starter like Chad Gaudin in to pitch Game 6 of the World Series. I bet many other people would have argued this as well.

As the article I linked above stated, the Yankees management put Girardi in this position to go with a three man rotation and he was just trying to find the best way to win a World Series with what he had been given. Girardi did just that and even though Gene felt vindicated by writing this "I told you so" column, he was wrong in the end. It turns out pitching these three starters on short rest and not taking a chance on an inferior pitcher to pitch a good game to a very good hitting lineup was a good idea.

Now I have to go focus on the massive amount of bragging by Yankees fans who are extraordinarily happy today. Did you know they had 27 World Series titles? I hadn't heard anything about that.

-Wallace Matthews also chimed in with criticism of Joe Girardi for pitching his starters on three days' rest. Between Wallace Matthews, Mike Lupica, and Gene W. do these guys steal each other’s notes and start copying each other’s papers or something? The article is boring and a rehashing of what has been written already and we all know everything that has been written critical of the 3 man rotation by the Yankees was wrong. The funny part is that I couldn’t read the article originally because “Newsday” wanted me to set up an account and give my information before I could read Wallace Matthews’ article. I was originally going to make fun of the fact that even though it is free, no one is going to set up an account to read the crap Matthews writes. So I got ready to link it to talk about this and it turns out “Newsday” realized this too and just a couple hours later made Matthews article available to read without setting up an account. I like to think they realized he isn’t good enough for anyone to put too much effort into being able to read what he writes, so they had to make it available without setting up an account.

-I haven’t covered Peter King enough this week yet. Maybe I should call this blog "Fire Peter King and Brett Favre." Let’s check out his mailbag for this week.

The Browns are a certifiable train wreck now. That much we know, in the wake of the departure of general manager George Kokinis from the organization. I've heard the ESPN report that the Browns are investigating firing Kokinis "for cause,'' which means he may have done something untoward to get him canned.

You mean like having Derek Anderson still on the roster, trading all the good offensive players on the team and giving up on Brady Quinn ever being the starter in Cleveland in order to save a few dollars? Or do you mean attempting to accumulate draft picks that the team will end up blowing on shitty players anyway? I would love to go on longer but Kokinis had only been in Cleveland for 9 months so he didn't have too much time to entirely decimate the roster, just damage it for a little while.

The problem as I see it is this organization careens from one disaster to the next. If owner Randy Lerner trusts Eric Mangini, he's got to take the slings and arrows of a furious fandom and let Mangini try to fix this huge mess.

This is really a brilliant idea but first Randy Lerner has to prove that he knows how to select a decent head coach. Butch Davis, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, and Chris Palmer are not exactly a Who's Who of great coaches. I know these guys haven't been great coaches, so they deserve some blame, but Lerner is the guy who is responsible for the hiring of his team's head coach. He hasn't exactly knocked it out of the park lately in choosing a head coach.

(Writer's Note: I'd planned to use this note about the success of the Saints' running game, ranked second in the league, on Monday, and I even Tweeted that the story would be in Monday Morning Quarterback. But other stories intruded, and rather than have it be buried in yesterday's column, I decided to use it today. Sorry for misleading those of you who took the time to write.)

I think we all know what these "other stories" that intruded in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback consisted of. I would bet anything these "other stories" involved Brett Favre in some fashion. Anything Brett Favre related takes precedent over any other NFL related story.

Near the season's midpoint, Drew Brees -- rightfully -- has become the coverboy for the resurgence of the Super Bowl-contending Saints. He's a legit MVP candidate,

But not THE MVP according to Peter King. That would be Peyton Manning. If you took Drew Brees off the Saints and Peyton Manning off the Colts, I wonder which team would struggle more? This is the question I keep asking myself because of Peter's MVP rankings.

Now that's something you probably wouldn't have figured, the Saints' running game being ahead of the pass in the NFL stats this far into the season.

It's happened because of four reasons.

Oh great, we as the reader get to learn the secrets of the New Orleans Saints running game right here in Peter King's column (I will admit Peter actually gives some useful information here, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't have something smart ass to say about this).

4. "We've got a little bit of a library,'' offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said.

Oh really? Does it contain books like "The Art of War" like Bill Belichick's library has (Peter talked about this one time when he visited Belichick) or "Who Moved My Cheese?" like Norv Turner has in his library?

(Ok, I made that last one up)

That library might be where the Saints' advantage lies. Kromer is a football man through and through, but he's also part video-geek. When he coached under Jon Gruden in Oakland and Tampa Bay for seven years, he learned not to waste time late in the week when the hay was in the barn for that week's game plan.

Kromer said he has "hundreds'' of plays inside his digital video folders on his computer. During a game week, Carmichael and Kromer might assign tight ends coach Terry Malone to look at short-yardage and goal line runs of teams that runs similar plays to the Saints, to see if there's anything they can pick up.

So the Saints have an advantage in that they steal plays from other teams and design the plays to where their personnel can run the play or they can keep the play the same and just run it with their personnel? This is actually a pretty smart idea and this would give the Saints an advantage over some other teams because they don't have to rely entirely on their own playbook for ideas.

Kromer made a good point about how digital video is changing the face of scouting, and coaching. "We can see any play in the league from the sideline view and all-22 [the wide end-zone angle] a couple of days after Sunday's games,'' he said. "That can give you a pretty good tool to use.''

This is such a great advantage, it makes me wonder why other NFL teams aren't using this video system?

A side note on that story: The Saints are most definitely not alone in doing this. Many teams do it.

Ok. So the Saints aren't the only team that does they don't have an advantage over other teams due to this video library? I am sure other teams don't do the EXACT same thing the Saints do when they steal other team's plays...

The coach told me his team has used the exact same play, with the running back cutting behind the lead-blocking fullback against the grain ... and that he and his staff look to borrow from other coaches weekly too.

Oh. So another team copied the exact same play the Saints copied. That certainly doesn't sound like this video library gives the Saints a massive advantage when it comes to this. So basically the reason the Saints seem to have an advantage is because they are currently undefeated and other teams who do this aren't having as much success.

So as always, everything is dependent on success in the NFL. If the Saints succeed in using other team's plays in helping the team win, it's a brilliant move. If the Saints don't succeed in using other team's plays and the team is losing, then the offensive coordinator is uncreative and has to rely on other team's plays to formulate a game plan. See how the point of view changes on this video library depending on well the team is playing? Everything pretty much depends on whether a team is successful or not. A strict coach is great when the team wins because he keeps the team focused, but when a team is losing a strict coach is too hard on players and expects too much from them so he sucks then. It's the Tom Coughlin principle.

I know the video library is a good idea and it probably does help the Saints but one of the reasons it seems to be such a good idea for the Saints and not the other teams that use it is because the Saints are winning. Seriously, otherwise if the teams was unsuccessful you could hear some Saints complaining the offensive coordinator can't think of his own plays or something else inane like that.

From T. Smith of St. Paul, Minn.: "I read your stats about Brett Favre playing well in these so-called pressure games, but I think it's a little flimsy. He's had a lot of bad games too -- the six-interception playoff game against the Rams, the end of the game against the Giants in the championship game a couple of years ago. I'm happy he's here, but I want to see how well he plays in the playoffs before we judge him.''

PK: Good point, and I'm sure Favre would say the same thing. My point was the three games in which Favre has the 11-to-0 TD-to-interception ratio were games with a different kind of pressure, with his father's death laying on him and the two games against the Packers this year.

So basically Peter is saying that there is a different kind of pressure Brett Favre plays under when he plays well than when he plays poorly. It breaks down this way:

In games where Brett has suffered a personal setback or the pressure is because of something Brett Favre has caused, he plays well because is out to prove Brett Favre is a good quarterback. Brett is able to focus better because the game is about him and he wants to look good.

In games where there is pressure because it is an important team game, Brett Favre doesn't always play well because doesn't give a crap about his team and he has nothing to prove personally in that game. Brett is not able to focus as well because the spotlight of the game is not directly on him.

Maybe that is just the way I see it, but I find it interesting he consistently plays well in games where the pressure is a result of something that is Brett Favre-oriented.

From Fred in Houston, Texas: "Favre's a drama queen. It can't just be about the game -- it has to be about him and how he overcame this big injury to play.''

Here is the part where Peter King doesn't defend Brett Favre. I am kidding of course.

Now, Favre took a lot of heat for hiding his arm injury last year with the Jets. Now he tells me he had a sore groin that affected Packer play-calling in the game and you don't think he should talk about that? Can't have it both ways, I'd say.

Favre took a lot of heat because hiding the arm injury and not putting him on the injury report was against the NFL rules. There is a difference in revealing an injury to the team which requires putting that player on the injury report and publicly announcing an injury like Brett Favre did. These are two separate issues. Fred from Texas thinks Favre should have told the Vikings about his injury, but he didn't have to publicly discuss it after the game so that everyone would know he played in the game injured and he could be seen as even more heroic than he already was. Peter fails to see this difference. No one is saying Favre should cover up the injury, we are saying that Favre didn't have to make a point to mention he had played with an if this gives him extra credit for his performance. He played well and he deserves kudos for that, but quarterbacks played injured a lot and many of them don't talk about it.

From Ian of Overland Park, Kan.: "How in the same article can you make the claim that there is no better defensive player in football than Jared Allen and also say that Aaron Rodgers takes too many sacks? There is no doubt that he is an impact player, but when 7.5 of his 10.5 sacks came against Rodgers, he hasn't had that much of a game-changing impact in the other Vikings games.''

I absolutely love it when readers get an attitude with Peter King. It just tickles me to death. Let's see what excuse Peter has for naming Jared Allen as the best defensive player in football.

PK: Good point, but in my job at NBC and in covering one of the Minnesota's game, I've seen at least 50 percent of the Vikings' defensive snaps this year,

I literally laughed out loud when I read this sentence. That's no joke. Peter tries to pretend he has seen 50% of the Vikings defensive snaps this year because he is working for NBC and had covered a Minnesota Vikings game. The real reason Peter has seen 50% of Minnesota's defensive snaps this year is because he is watching EVERY SINGLE GAME Brett Favre plays in. Let's not bullshit everyone here. It has nothing to do with Peter's job or what games he covers, it has to do with Peter's unhealthy obsession with Brett Favre.

This also speaks to the disparity in coverage that Peter King gives each team in the NFL. Do you think he has seen 50% of the defensive/offensive snaps of ANY other NFL team this year? I would say there is no way. So of course he is going to say Jared Allen is the best defensive player in football because he has seen him play the most. Peter constantly pays attention to certain teams and ignores other teams, it's pretty much a proven fact at this point. This explains why he doesn't talk about the "other" teams, because he hasn't watched much of their games and can't talk about them at length. Rant over...

and he's the best defensive player I've seen.

Jared Allen is the best defensive player Peter King has seen this year? Or ever? I wouldn't put it past Peter to say "ever" because he did say Derek Jeter was the best baseball player he has seen in his lifetime. I will assume Peter means Jared Allen is the best defensive player he has seen this year. Allen has 3 sacks in 5 games that are not against the Green Bay Packers. I don't know how the hell this is impressive to Peter King.

Even if Rodgers threw the ball away on two of those plays, or three, that's Allen-related impact resulting in incomplete passes. His impact is about more than sacks, too.

That's great Peter, even if it still doesn't explain the previous absurd statement, but Jared Allen has 3 sacks in 5 games NOT against Green Bay. This is not any type of good evidence he is the freaking best defensive player ever in the NFL. I love the old fallback argument that a player has an impact that can't be measured. It can't be argued with because if there is no way to measure Jared Allen's impact, then obviously it can't be compared to any other player's impact that can't be measured. I am sure Allen's play is in no way helped by the fact he plays next to Pat and Kevin Williams.

Luke Fleeman of Tulare, Calif.: "Peter, you were one of the voices of reason in the Favre retirement saga, pointing out when he fibbed. But now it seems like you've joined the choir, falling down to help worship Favre with the rest of the media. I have to say I am disappointed, because I think most of us are just sick of hearing about him.''

PK: Favre played well for the second time this year against the Packers under pressurized circumstances. I wrote about it. I'm not kneeling at his feet. I'm reporting the story of the day in the NFL, interviewing the player, like him or not, who is a polarizing figure.

This would be a great point if Peter King had not mentioned Brett Favre a total of 6 separate times in his MMQB and had written his name 30-something other times.

Also, who decides what the "story of the day" is in the NFL? The media. So basically the media (including Peter King) made Brett Favre the "story of the day" in the NFL and then acted like they were FORCED to write about him. Peter had the choice of writing about any other football game at length in his MMQB. He could have written what he wrote about the Saints video library if he had wanted, and it seems he was initially going to, but he chose to talk about Favre...because of the hero worship that he denies but is clearly guilty of.

From Eric Jesperson of Denver: "No Peter, Fox absolutely did the right thing switching to the Carolina-Arizona game. After three hours of the Brett Favre Show (complete with online Brett Favre Cam) and a week of listening to the media Favregasm, the last thing I needed was more Brett Favre.''

Doesn't it sound like everyone but the media is tired of Brett Favre at this point? Then why does the media still constantly oversaturate everyone's eyes and ears with stories about Brett Favre? Clearly no one wants to hear any more about him, yet we get more and more coverage. Peter King has mentioned Brett Favre in EVERY MMQB going back to the New Year...and I quit keeping count prior to that so I am sure it has been longer since he hasn't mentioned Favre in his MMQB.

PK: I respectfully disagree that rushing -- and I mean, Fox sprinted off the Favre game -- to the last two minutes of a game that was already decided (it was a 13-point game) that was being shown to about 6 percent of the country was the right idea.

I am pretty sure the Green Bay-Minnesota game had already been decided, it's not like Fox left a live game for another live game. Fox went to a game that was actually showing live football while the game Favre played in was over. 6% of the country also gives a shit about Brett Favre at this point. That percentage is declining every single week.


KentAllard said...

Good breakdown on the different kinds of Favre "pressure". I love it when Peter gets defensive about the fact he wants to marry Brett and have his babies.

For a football insider, he might have gotten the main reason Cleveland threw Kokinos overboard was the prospect of a fan revolt in Cleveland (the owner had a meeting with leaders of the angry fans the day before the firing). I can't defend Kokinos, and I think Mangenius is an idiot, but Cleveland is rotten to the core. It will be interesting to see if the quarterback who gets drafted by the Browns in the first round next year breaks down and cries, realizing he's doomed.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, I had a revelation as I was writing that Brett Favre plays well in pressure situations that are more personal and can be more inconsistent in situations that are more team oriented. It's not the biggest revelation I have ever had, but it is sort of interesting.

I don't think Cleveland is as far off as many may think they are. There is talent on that defense, they just have to find someone who knows what the hell they are doing. Maybe I just want to think they have talent on defense, but I am optimistic for them.

You are right that the fans might have boycotted games for the rest of the year, so that is one reason they got rid of him. I think Bradford will end up there and he will be happy because the money will shade his thinking for a year or two and then if the team hasn't turned around he may be near suicidal.

AJ said...

Vegas to you guys in a week.

I've got my 3 team parlay all ready to go...Seattle to cover, NE to cover, and Pitt to cover.

Go said...

My fiance has only watched one half of an entire football game all year. It was in this past week's Carolina vs. Arizona game. According to her, Julius Peppers is the Defensive MVP this year. She has seen no one better.

Bengoodfella said...

Wow AJ, that sounds like a good way to go. Be sure to give us that epic running diary on the adventures you have because your experience is going to be so much different than anyone else's Vegas experience.

Go, I am hard on Peppers but he absolutely abused Gandy. Peppers is not even close to being the best defensive player in football...I think he could be if he wanted to be. It's good to hear he has one more person fooled though. He has nearly this entire area fooled too and he gets me to believe in him sometimes as well.

Go said...

I was just comparing her to PK. They both watch a few quarters then make a blanket statement about the entire NFL's roster.

Peppers is very talented but motivation is his problem.

BTW did you see the 30:30 on Len Bias? It's amazing to me how that event still affects Maryland athletics today. Following his death (and the loss of Bobby Ross) all Maryland revenue sports were in the toliet for a decade (basketball) or 15 years (football). The athletic department and fans still say stupid shit like, "At least we're better than we were during the late 80s or early 90s." For instance, Ralph Friedgen is a garbage coach. He had three great years followed by six horrible years. Instead of making a coaching change people spew that same crap about how bad MD football was post Ross. We have set our standards so low. It's so frustrating. I don't know if other schools make excuses like this but I've really had it. Fans said the same crap when Gary Williams' teams sucked between 04-08. Instead of putting pressure on him to work harder, especially recruiting, we compared the team to the Bob Wade teams. I know this has nothing to do with your blog but I've been pissed about this for so long.

Bengoodfella said...

Go, I know. I would not insult your fiance by comparing her to Peter King. That's just mean.

Motivation has been his problem since college and now he is getting older and it isn't getting any better and probably never will.

I think a lot of programs go through a sort of stagnation like that where they are almost afraid to make a move because they know how bad things can get because they used to be that bad. I did watch the Len Bias 30 for 30. I hate it when schools or teams use past failures as a reason to not strive for better now. It's basically just accepting mediocrity. I feel very similar to how Duke is with Coach K. He is recruiting has been absolutely horrible of late. He has chosen the wrong guys to go after and if you criticize him everyone will just give you his resume as if that is all you should be impressed by. He got stagnant for a few years and I am not sure we are actually past that point yet. I think Maryland will turn it around in basketball and I think already have started to do so.

Another example is Bobby Cox and the Braves. They are just still coasting on the consecutive division titles streak and very few people pay attention to some of the bad moves Cox made. He had 3 Hall of Fame pitchers and only won World Series, but any time you criticize him you get reminded about how bad they were before he got there.

I call it "accepting mediocrity" and it just drives me crazy. Teams are allowed off years but when a program shows a 2-3 year stagnation I think that becomes a problem. I think Williams got a little lazy and I also believe he lost a few of the guys he relied on to recruit to other college teams. It is frustrating though. Anyone can vent here about sports, it's no big deal.