Friday, April 23, 2010

17 comments Jay Mariotti Hates Baseball and I Don't Like Him

Ok, so my mock draft started out well and then became a complete disaster. I know it is currently the middle of the NFL Draft, or at least the first day after the first day of the draft, so the NFL is on our minds, but let's talk a little baseball today. Once all the picks are in I feel like I can talk the NFL Draft a little bit more. Since it takes an entire 3 day weekend to get through the NFL Draft now, we have to wait to make decisions on how teams do. So the draft is broken up and I can't just give my impressions of the draft because it takes three damn days for the thing to end. Don't worry (though you aren't), I will give my impressions of the draft, I just like for it to end first.

Today, Jay Mariotti decides that he hates baseball and so he imagines problems for baseball that aren't exclusive to that sport.

First, I wanted to thank Joe Sheehan. Thank you. He has written an article that should shut up all the realignment talk in MLB that has pervaded the world of late. I saw the article and thought I was going to have to take on Sheehan since I assumed he (like many others) would be in favor of realignment, but fortunately he has written beautifully and correctly against realignment. Not to pat myself on the back, but what he says sounds a little similar to what I wrote last week.

What I'm describing is what the MLB playoff picture would look like if baseball was like the NFL, with 16 games in a season and 12 postseason berths. (The NFL advanced six teams per conference in a three-division structure with 28, then 30, teams from 1990 through 2002, before moving to the current four-division-per-conference setup.) Every team in baseball has played 13, 14 or 15 games, putting us at a comparable point to Week 16 of the NFL season, with two games left. And as is often the case in the NFL, there's little separation among them at this point.

I made the very nearly same point in my post last Tuesday about why realignment is stupid and the whining about the competitive balance of baseball being way off. It's simply not true.

From Selig's injection of the term into collective bargaining to the cries of media who have never grasped the economics of sports to the relentless praise of the NFL by its partners, competitive balance has been cited as one of pro football's biggest advantages over baseball. Every team has a chance to win in football, every season allows more teams to contend, no teams start the season without "hope and faith," and rarely are teams locked into postseason berths when camps break.

I wish I had written this exact article last Tuesday now. It's simply a case of small sample sizes making the NFL look a lot better than it truly should look in terms of competitive balance. If the NFL played 32 games, think of how far ahead the Saints, Cardinals, and Colts would have been from their nearest rival in their own division. They probably would have blown the nearest team away in the standings. That's three of the eight divisions that would have been blowouts.

That balance, however, is merely an illusion created by the structure of the two leagues. The NFL never has baseball's September, never sees half the league playing out the string over the final sixth of the schedule, because when you play 16 games, you simply cannot get that kind of separation.

This is absolutely true. It's boring to agree with writers, I realize this, so forgive me. It's a numbers game in the NFL though. There aren't enough games for the division races to get that wide open, like what happens in baseball. I don't see it as a fault of baseball, but more an advantage/disadvantage of the NFL 16 game schedule.

Here's the disadvantage of the NFL and it's "parity." One injury to a player or an ineffective player can effectively ruin an entire team's season. A three game losing streak can ruin a team's season. It's what makes the NFL exciting, but it also is a disadvantage in that the true "best" teams don't always make the playoffs every year. The NFL schedule also plays a big part in whether a team is successful or not, because a quality team with an easier schedule will make the playoffs (most likely) over a quality team with a tougher schedule. Why does one team get a tougher schedule? Because they dared to be a good team the year before or played a tougher AFC/NFC division than the team with the easier schedule because of how the division rotations work in the NFL scheduling.

I am not saying this is a terrible thing, but in the NFL a team has a smaller window to win so teams that start off well or start off poorly can have their season decided merely because of that. I am not saying this is all bad, I just wanted to show there is some downside to the NFL "parity," in that teams don't have much room for injury or failure. That also makes the NFL exciting.

Last year the Cincinnati Bengals outscored their opponents by just 14 points in total, but by winning three early games by a field goal each, two of them road games over divisional rivals, they set the stage for a 10-6 campaign and a division title. No one injury or brief stretch of good fortune can impact a baseball team's record in quite the same way.

Good teams prove themselves as good teams in MLB because they have longer to do so.

More teams do have a chance to compete in the NFL, but that's simply because "compete" has been defined as "stay around .500 for 14 games."


It's not that one league's structure is better than the other. It's that the two aren't comparable in any meaningful way. MLB plays 10 times the games that the NFL does and has a postseason that is more exclusive by a third. MLB has significant in-season roster turnover, both from a minor-league system and via trading; the NFL has virtually none.

In a discussion on scheduling parity and overall competitive balance in each league, I don't think they are comparable because of the difference in schedules. I just don't believe a fair comparison can be done.

For too long now, MLB has tried to be like the NFL, emphasizing the postseason at the expense of the regular season while embracing the idea that every team should be competitive every year. It was a ridiculous notion in 1994, when MLB realigned and foisted a new round of postseason play on us, and it's a ridiculous notion now.

Somewhere people who favor every team being competitive every year are taking major offense to this statement. It would be nice to have every team be competitive, but it is also incredibly unrealistic. Pittsburgh and teams like that are such poorly run teams they have no chance at being competitive...and as long as the team is poorly run it should stay that way. It is harsh, but true.

MLB and its leaders should stand up and brag about the differences that make its game great. It should note the math of the issue, that the NFL's competitive balance is the natural consequence of a short regular season and a larger postseason, and that MLB's competitive balance, considered in the context of its own sport, is good.

100% agreed. Just last year there was a one game playoff in the AL Central because the teams had the exact same record after 162 games. That's good balance in the division to have teams end up with the exact same record after 162 games. There were other divisions decided by 3 games, 6 games, and 7.5 games after 162 games. That's not bad competition in each division.

Sure, the NFL had closer division races, but three of the divisions were decided by 4 games or more. That's over a 16 game schedule. How far apart would these teams be if they played 10 times this many games like MLB does? MLB has good competitive balance as long as you recognize how many games MLB teams play.

Joe Sheehan was right and I hope others who complain about the competitive balance of baseball read his article. The competitive balance problem isn't a baseball issue, but an issue caused by the large amount of games played.

-Before I get to the Mariotti article, there has been a marriage of Joe Morgan and Dusty Baker. Morgan will be working with the Reds in a front office-ish capacity, which ensures the Reds will sign no base-cloggers for the foreseeable future. It's always good to see two guys behind the times helping to work with a team that should be on the rise. It does also lead me to wonder if Morgan is working for the Reds, how can he call Sunday Night Baseball games for ESPN? Isn't that a conflict in that he may learn information in production meetings he can use in his role with the Reds? Does this matter? Shouldn't this matter?

Onto the king of annoying sportswriting...Jay Mariotti thinks baseball is "doozing into oblivion." I disagree. I know there are people who can't stand baseball or don't enjoy the sport, and that is fine, but I don't believe it is an overall trend. Last year baseball ended the season with the 5th highest attendance ever. This year, depending on who you want to believe, baseball attendance is either rising or declining. I think it is safe to say as a compromise it is holding steady. Most of the examples of poor attendance used in those articles are for Toronto, which isn't a good team so probably wouldn't have good attendance this year anyway. Mariotti doesn't see it that way.

There are times, such as just the other night, when an old man's game known as baseball sneaks up and reminds us that it still can be relevant. In the space of mere hours, Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez became the first pitcher whose name begins with a "U'' to throw a no-hitter, a walk-encrusted treat followed by 18 scoreless innings -- did you spazz, too, when the screen flashed NY 0, STL 0 17th? -- that left Cardinals manager Tony La Russa again looking like a wacky professor who thinks himself into conundrums ... and 20-inning losses.

So the only way baseball can be relevant is to have baseball records broken every night? Why isn't this standard held to other sports like the NBA or the NFL? Baseball isn't so boring that an all-time record has to be broken to make it interesting. Records aren't broken in those leagues every night, yet those sports are seen as relevant, so why does it have to happen in baseball? Fans of baseball find the sport exciting even during normal games.

It's OK, Tony -- really -- to disrupt your rotation in mid-April and use a starting pitcher in the seventh hour of a game. Certainly, it's a smarter option than trotting out utilitymen Felipe Lopez and Joe Mather to pitch the final three innings.

No, Jay--really--it's not fine to disrupt the rotation to win one game. The season is a marathon not a sprint, and it is currently April. If La Russa didn't want to disrupt his rotation, he shouldn't have to do that. He's the manager and at that point, winning one game isn't worth it to him compared to getting his rotation out of whack. The Cardinals are in the middle of a stretch of 25 games in 26 days. Sure, the rotation could have gotten out of order, but there is a bigger picture managers have to look at.

"The outcome was disappointing, but the heart the club showed was amazing," La Russa said. "I give them a standing ovation."

If so, the manager should be booed to the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. And thanked, in a perverse way, for giving us something to argue about.

One thing I hate about sports today is that the mere playing of a game isn't good enough for the media. There always has to be "something to talk about" or an angle on the season or game to make it worth talking about. The competition of a game is no longer sufficient to entertain the least it feels that way.

Not until Saturday night did I even know the regular season had started -- what with Duke vs. Butler, the Tiger Woods debacle, Phil Loves Amy, the beginning of the NBA and NHL playoffs and this week's primetime debut of the NFL Draft.

And of course because Jay Mariotti didn't know the regular season had started means no one else was paying attention to the MLB season. Mariotti has his pulse right on the nation when it comes to knowing what they do or don't care can be seen by the fact nobody fucking likes him or even other sports journalists think he has not one bit of credibility as a sports journalist.

I swear, it could be weeks before the masses pay much attention to baseball, as evidenced by stunning sections of empty seats in one-time hotbeds with formerly packed parks -- Baltimore,

They aren't very good.


They are terrible.

Toronto --

Also not a very good team. Maybe the fact these teams aren't very good contribute to the fan's apathy towards attending games in those cities, rather than are indicative of a trend towards more fan apathy towards baseball in general. Really, that's too far for Mariotti to look. He prefers to make snap judgments based on initial impressions to seeing or hearing data.

The first weekend of Fox's game coverage was down 16 percent from last year's ratings and down 27 percent from 2008.

I am sure this had nothing to do with the fact these games were competing directly against the Masters and Tiger Woods comeback there. There is no correlation there, right? Two different sporting events on at the exact same time, one a normal baseball game, the other the 3rd round of the most prestigious golf tournament where the best golfer in the world is in the running for the lead after taking a break because of a huge scandal...should baseball beat the Masters out in the ratings in this instance?

If not for the usual high demand in stadiums where the home team either is adored (Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Citizens Bank Park) or breaking in a new crib (Target Field in Minnesota), baseball would be a niche attraction.

Summing up what Mariotti says here..."If not for all the cities where baseball is hugely popular, baseball may not be popular at all."

I think this could go for almost every sport. We don't use the empty seats at Jacksonville to show that the NFL is declining in fan interest do we? How can we just rule out these six cities where baseball is popular and act like they are the outliers of fan interest when there is interest in other MLB cities as well? Jay uses three cities that have terrible teams as proof baseball is declining in fan interest, but doesn't think the six cities he lists that have a huge interest in baseball prove this wrong. Something is wrong with believing this. I think even staying at the same attendance level as last year or the year before is impressive given the state of the economy.

"It's definitely different. I was here in the glory years, or whatever you want to call it, when it was packed every night. It's kind of a shame to see it the way it is now," mourned Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who now sees crowds of four figures at Rogers Centre in hockey-mad Toronto.

Again, Toronto is used as an example of why MLB-wide fan interest has dived. In the glory years all the fair-weather fans will be out, so attendance will be good. No one is going to pay money to go see a crappy team play. That's pretty much been proven in every sport every single year. This lack of attendance in Toronto is a result of the Blue Jays not being a good team, not because fan interest has declined overall. If the Blue Jays were good, fans would be there. I truly believe this.

"I didn't hear anything -- just quiet," Orioles third baseman Miguel Tejada told reporters last week in Baltimore after a game attended by an announced 9,129 fans, the smallest crowd in Camden Yards history.

The Orioles aren't a good team. Also, the unemployment rate in Washington D.C. is 11.6% , 7.7% for Maryland, 9.5% in West Virginia and 7.4% in Virginia. That's most of the Orioles fan base right there.

For the game to resonate in the future, the fuddy-duddies in charge must recognize the importance of making the product faster, younger, sexier and more streamlined.

Because Jay Mariotti is the type of person who likes to bitch about problems and not actually fix them, he provides no examples or suggestions for how MLB can do this. He thinks they should just do it...somehow.

Football, more popular than ever, doesn't have those problems. Basketball, now the No. 2 sport nationally, doesn't have those problems.

No, what the NFL has is a huge labor problem that could hurt the sport tremendously and the NBA has massive financial problems with many teams. I think MLB wouldn't trade their problems for the NBA's financial problems at this point. MLB isn't a perfect sport, but neither is the NBA or the NFL.

Nor are the powers-that-be investing their time in the right places when they pull stunts such as banning the hoodie of a rare character, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, because the pullover sweatshirt he wore last weekend in cold, rainy Boston wasn't OK'd by the league.

Are the powers-that-be in the NFL investing their time in the right places when they fine players thousands of dollars for violating the incredibly strict dress code players must follow? The dress code in the NFL is as strict, if not more so, than the dress code in MLB. Just Wednesday Mariotti wrote an article about how Tim Tebow needs to save the NFL from hoodlums and yet here he is acting like the NFL has their shit all together, even when they do the same thing to their players and coaches MLB did to Joe Madden...strictly enforcing the dress code. On Wednesday, MLB relaxed the dress code and said Madden could wear his hoodie, you don't see the NFL relaxing the dress code too often.

I think most of the dress code violations players, coaches and managers get fined for are stupid, but this happens in the NFL and MLB.

Keep wearing the hoodie, Joe. Let them come and tear it off you. It'll be the most fun we've seen in baseball this month.

This is strange coming from the guy who earlier in this column claimed he didn't know the MLB season had started. It's amazing that a guy who hasn't been paying any attention to the sport can somehow know exactly how fun has been seen in baseball games during the month. Only in a Jay Mariotti article can you read about how a sportswriter hasn't been paying attention to a sport, but then he also claims to know everything that has happened in that sport so far.

Meanwhile, too many games still run much too long. That's why I applauded Joe West, the veteran umpire, when he trashed the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for turning what should be baseball's best ongoing attraction into unwatchable TV.

This happened in early April. So the whole "I haven't been paying attention thing" was hyperbole or just a lie to try and act like Mariotti had a point?

"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace," West said. "They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It's pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.

As I have stated previously, if Joe West wants to pick up the pace of the game while he is the home plate umpire, he has every right in the rulebook to speed up the game...but he doesn't take advantage of it. Lay down the law as the home plate umpire or shut up about the speed of the game.

Naturally, Selig toes the line, refusing to order the sport's two most powerful teams to quicken their act. "It isn't the time of the game, it's the pace of the game," he said.

I agree the Yankees and Red Sox need to speed up their games, but they aren't going to do so until the current rules, the same rules on the books, are enforced by the umpire. If the hitter is taking his sweet time getting back in the batter's box, the home plate umpire can warn him and then call an automatic strike. The home plate umpire can do this again and again until the game is sped up. The rules are on the books, they just need to be enforced. No team is going to listen if there aren't repercussions for not listening.

The best executive order would be to make umpires consistently enforce the pitch/hit count that already is in place -- if a pitcher or hitter violates the rules, he is penalized with a ball or strike.

For the third time...for the hitter this rule is already on the books. I am sure there isn't a way a sportswriter should know this rule, it is not like it is his job to cover sports or anything.

And forget about the grandest idea of all: shortening the regular season to 140 games. That's 22 games in lost revenue per team. The owners are in it for greed, remember, not to satisfy the paying customers.

This is a separate paragraph. This is all Mariotti mentions about this. He just says it is a grand idea, but doesn't explain why it is a grand idea or what it will fix. He just throws this idea out for no particular reason and proclaims it "the grandest idea of all." Like I said earlier, Jay Mariotti is a man who spots problems, but has no realistic ideas.

The fast start of the Yankees suggests a repeat championship in the Bronx, not a healthy happening for those -- namely, Selig -- who think the game has competitive balance.

See the Joe Sheehan column above.

The Steinbrenners are subsidizing too many teams as it is in a revenue-sharing climate, and when the Yankees keep winning titles in spite of it, it almost causes a plantation effect that doesn't inspire hope in the vast majority of cities.

One title since 2000. The Spurs are more of a dynasty in the NBA than the Yankees over the last decade and the Steelers are more of a dynasty in the NFL than the Yankees in that span too.

And when we aren't lamenting lopsided economics,

Which is true, but is more of a result of one team (the Yankees) being the lopsided one, and not an effect of 5-6 teams that spend way more than any other team. Also, there is no viable solution to this.

slow games,

Can be fixed by umpires following the rules on the books.

nose-diving attendance

Which probably isn't true, but if it is true, "nose-diving" is a huge overstatement. The economy can be blamed partially for this.

and low TV ratings, there is the issue of race.

Here we go with this issue. I sometimes feel like some sportswriters and critics of MLB's diversity think MLB intentionally leads minorities in a direction to play a different sport. MLB has done a lot to try and increase the amount of minority players currently playing. MLB is the most racially diverse major sport in the United States if you pay attention to how many different countries are represented, but that's not good enough.

The best young, black athletes aren't playing baseball anymore, which makes Jackie Robinson Day a bittersweet experience and leads some African-American players to publicly ask if franchises are participating in racism by not signing black players in the twilight of their careers, such as Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield.

The idea MLB is blackballing these two players is madness. I am sure if these players had reasonable salary demands for their age they would be playing right now. Where's the cry for John Smoltz or Pedro Martinez to get sympathy for being blackballed? MLB has tried to get minorities involved with the sport, but it is easier to play football or basketball growing up because you don't need as much gear or space to play. You need a glove, bat, ball for baseball and you pretty much just need a ball for football. Plus, baseball isn't as sexy of a sport as football or basketball.

The most important player for the sport's future, it can be argued, is Jason Heyward (right), the Atlanta Braves rookie slugger who looks like the next great player and has embraced trying to promote baseball in the inner city.

Yet, for as dynamic as Heyward is, does America know anything about him?

I would say we know more about Jason Heyward than has ever been known about a 20 year old rookie in MLB history. He has been profiled everywhere, including in a huge Sports Illustrated spread two weeks ago. He is 20 years old and now overexposed already.

The season will plod along, ebb and flow as always into October, but by then, the only people who will care are fans of the teams still playing.

This is absolutely not true. Fans of baseball will be watching these games.

Be sure one will be the Yankees, and that their games will extend close to four hours and well past midnight.

Of course one team will be the Yankees, they have made one World Series since 2001 compared to the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Phillies two World Series appearances during that time. The Yankees are just a shoo-in to make it aren't they?

But, hey, at least Joe Maddon isn't allowed to wear that darned hoodie anymore.

Baseball has problems, just like other sports have problems. I don't think baseball's problems are any worse than any other major sport's. There are people who hate baseball and that is fine, but there are also people who hate football and basketball. It doesn't mean any of these sports are declining. Oh, and Joe Maddon can wear that darned hoodie still.

Major League Baseball isn't America's Pastime anymore, but I also don't believe it is "nose-diving" when it comes to fan interest.

Feel free to talk the NFL Draft down below in the comments.


Unknown said...

"It's definitely different. I was here in the glory years, or whatever you want to call it, when it was packed every night. It's kind of a shame to see it the way it is now," mourned Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who now sees crowds of four figures at Rogers Centre in hockey-mad Toronto.

Back then yes the Blue Jays and Orioles were selling out their stadiums but teams like the Yankees, Mets and Phillies weren't. Now the Blue Jays and Orioles are awful and attendence has plumetted but the Yanks, Mets and Phils have new ballparks and field good teams (kind of for the Mets) and therefore have high attendence. It sort of evens out. Good teams = good attendence and vice versa. Not every team can be a winner and draw a lot of fans.

The Casey said...

Wouldn't Jay Mariotti be the first to complain if MLB became 'faster, younger, sexier and more streamlined'?

Also, how is the hoodie incident any different than the NFL a few years back not wanting Mike Nolan to wear a suit on the sidelines becuase it had a sponsorship deal with Reebok?

Also, BGF, shame on you. How can you forget the millions of dollars each year MLB spends on building basketball courts and football and soccer fields, in order to keep their secret 'race quota' within an acceptable range?

Bengoodfella said...

Go, that is a great point. If I am not wrong, the Blue Jays field is now an older stadium when it was newer back in the early 90's. Same thing with the Orioles...and both teams aren't good. It's exactly what you said.

Casey, yes Mariotti would be the first to claim MLB sold its soul to win over fans. I can see him write the article right now.

No, the hoodie and suit incident aren't different. MLB has problems, I would never argue otherwise, but every major sport has bizarre uniform specifications. There is a reason they call it the No Fun League.

I keep forgetting about that secret initiative to give money for those football fields and basketball courts. I can't get behind the idea kids should be forced to play baseball if they don't want to. Football and basketball are easier to play and sexier. That's the bottom line.

Also, I can't believe Mariotti said we don't know anything about Jason Heyward. How in the hell is that true?

KentAllard said...

As a kid, I attended Atlanta Braves games in the 1970s. The team was terrible, and worse, apathetic. Outfielders wouldn't run after balls, baserunners advanced a cautious base at a time. They were bad and dull, and I remember a three game mid-week series in which the attendance was about 1,000. Combined, for all three games. Baseball in Atlanta was doomed, and they were definitely going to move. Then Ted Turner bought the team, they got better, and attendance grew to respectable, then outstanding. It's like explaining that water is wet, but winning teams draw more fans than losing teams. The temptation is to blame it on the city itself, but that's rarely the case.

Koleslaw said...

Jay Mariotti is an embarrassment to himself, his profession, sports, and the human race in general.

ivn said...

So did jay mariotti deride baseball as a slow, boring, old person's game and then say that he paid more attention to fucking golf? Gah.

I guess I have the tiger woods skank brigade to blame for the media obsessing over the most boring fucking sport on the planet. Thanks, ladies! I really wanted to hear every media member wonder if tiger could handle coming back to a game old and fat people can excel in, or handle the pressure from fans who aren't allowed to make any noise during tournaments. Fuck golf and fuck jay mariotti. A pirates vs royals interleague series is about a million times more interesting than tiger woods.

another note about baseball: you need a shitload of space and maintanence for the playing fields probably moreso than any other sports. That tends to skew the areas w/ good facilities towards rich or rural areas, which are generally more white.

Idk why I'm so lit up. The seahawks did exactly what I wanted them to do in the first round last night.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, that is exactly right. Atlanta Fulton County Stadium went from empty to full in a span of one year from 1990 to 1991...and then Braves fans quit coming again. There is a reason Mariotti had to use losing teams as an example of how baseball is declining...that's because it isn't.

Koleslaw, I think you just said it best.

Ivn, I can watch golf, but it just has to be the major tournaments. Though for Mariotti to call baseball stuck in the past and stodgy is a bit weird when he brags about watching golf...especially at the Masters. That's like the oldest and most traditional tournament on the tour.

It's not easy or cheap to keep up a baseball field, another reason why it is hard to get ppl interested in the sport in any non-organized fashion (like a league).

It's ok to be worked up even if the Seahawks did what you wanted.

Unknown said...

CLAUSEN!!! Good luck Ben! Seriously, I'm not sure if he's that different from Matt Moore, but this could work out.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know if I am ready to comment on Clausen yet. I think the Panthers had other needs. I don't think he will start next year either. They need a veteran quarterback, but now they have 3 QB's with career starts of 8 total games. We'll see I guess...

KentAllard said...

As I've said before, I'm not completely sold on Clausen at the pro level, but I think his chances are as good as any of the other three quarterbacks in this draft or better, and getting him with a mid-second round pick is a good move. If he turns out well, the Panthers got a steal, and if he doesn't, it's not a high enough pick to be a true bust. I think he'll be an upgrade from Delhomme, anyway.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt Moore is an upgrade from Delhomme. The Panthers also picked up Pike, which was (a) pointless and (b) interesting...because I liked him at Cincy. That being said, I need more confidence from you Kent. I need you to LOVE Clausen because the last thing I need is a QB competition between two shitty QB's.

Some asshole at Bleacher Report panned the move and gave the Panthers a "D+" for the first round. They thought Clausen wasn't a good pick, but they needed a QB at some point and he was a great value.

Unknown said...

As Kent said, for where they picked him, and the fact I think he is the most NFL ready of all the top QB's in this draft, it's a nice choice. The Pike pick baffles me.

I think the Seahawks have had a heck of a week between their draft and trades. LenDale White and Leon Washington for what they gave up? Nice! I'm not sure about the JEts trading Washington and getting Joe McKnight to replace him...McKnight was a fumbling machine in college, and I don't think he's gonna be any better in the pros. Not exactly what you're looking for in a running/ball control offense.

KentAllard said...

Although one of the stories of the draft is now OMG CLAUSEN IS A BUST NO ONE WANTED HIM (the other is OMG THE BRONCOS JUST WON THE SUPER BOWL TEN TIMES TEBOW BRINGS THE INTANGIBLES), this worked out well for both the Panthers and especially Clausen. There won't be intense pressure to get him on the field too soon, and the Panthers have a solid team around him. Going to a train wreck franchise like the Rams, Raiders or Browns probably halves the chances of a rookie QB succeeding. The Pike choice was a slight surprise, but maybe the Panthers are assembling a group of young QBs, figuring the odds are one of them will come through. There's more reason for optimism than in say Cleveland, where if the now highly-paid starter Delhomme falters, your hope is that Seneca Wallace will suddenly become a quarterback.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I think the Panthers just wanted competition with Pike. I am not all about taking QBs in the draft, so I am understandably a little confused right now.

I knocked Pete Carroll when he got hired and talked about what a bad draft(s) he had at NE, but he has impressed me so far. He got White and Washington for nothing and had a great, great draft. I really like what he has done so far. I may owe him an apology...or at least the GM an apology.

Kent, you don't know how much it pisses me off ESPN was talking a/b the Panthers just b/c of Clausen. I don't think there were any other guys they liked better, so they took him.

I agree with you about his degree of difficulty for success. It's the opposite of ND. Great running game, good defense and great o-line. I am excited to see if he gives Matt Moore competition.

I was surprised by the Pike choice b/c the Panthers LOVE their 3rd string guy Hunter Cantwell. I see the chart as Moore, Clausen, Cantwell. I wasn't a huge fan of the Pike selection.

The Browns announced they are not playing McCoy no matter what this year, so Delhomme and Wallace have to do something. At least there seems to be a plan in Carolina, but the Browns don't look great for this year. I actually really like what the Raiders did too. I am tired of talking about Clausen, I think Oakland did a good job improving their team.

Bengoodfella said...

Ok, I am not tired of talking about Clausen, but he is a rookie QB and ESPN and others are acting like he is the next great thing when no one knows what a rookie QB can do. He fell in the draft, there could a reason for that.

I get more excited for other positions than QB that were drafted, so it kind of annoys me when the media seems to be stuck on Clausen. He is a great fit, but he still has to be a good QB. I am cautiously optimistic.

Unknown said...

I remember when Camden Yards openned and they fielded competitive teams. My first game there it felt like I had won the lottery. I had club seats against the champion Blue Jays. The game was in May of 93 but the crowd was electric before, during and after. Being a young prick at the time my friend and I were heckling Tom Henke before the game. The Terminator looked at us and I felt like I could read his thought, "You punk ass kids, I'd rip your throats out if we were anywhere else." Many summer nights we went there and had such a blast win or lose.
Literally you could not pay me (and probably most of the state of Maryland) to go there and watch this team the last ten years. The shame is that the stadium is still great, easy to get to, clean and exciting when there are competitive teams.

Bengoodfella said...

Go, see that is what happens when a team is not competitive. It isn't because you don't like baseball anymore or anything like that, you just choose not to allocate your money to spend on a team that isn't competitive.

It is not the stadium or your love for the sport, but the team. I have to say I don't think interest in the sport is dwindling and the only reason Mariotti thinks so is because he polls the fans in cities with bad teams.