Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 comments MMQB Review: Why Can't Major League Baseball Control the Weather? Edition

Peter King praised Jon Gruden for being a quarterback expert last week in MMQB, which got my anti-Gruden rhetoric started as it pertains to him being a quarterback expert started. Peter also called Kevin Costner cuter than Mike Lombardi, thereby showing his readers that he can come off creepy by using another word to describe a grown man that isn't "precocious." This week Peter reveals what he thinks he knows about the NFL Draft, even though he is very clear in stating he is probably wrong or being misled in some way. Peter also talks about the Masters, criticizes golf commentary for containing too many cliches (because we all know the NBC Sunday Night Football crew would NEVER overuse cliches), has comments on the weather in regard to MLB's schedule and manages to force-feed us a Brett Favre quote because why not?

Lord. How great was that golf? Angel Cabrera's approach shot on 18 and Adam Scott's putting and Cabrera's excruciating near-miss putt and Scott's winning putt ... and the sportsmanship. The real sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship like Peter has only seen overseas when it comes to how fans of opposing cricket (I think that was the sport) teams treat each other. Why can't the world be more like Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott?

That's one of the best 40 minutes of sport I can recall, in any game, any match.

Let's take it easy for a few minutes now. It was exciting, but I don't know if I would call it the best 40 minutes of any sport, in any game, any match.

How many of you said, watching that: "I've got to get to the Masters!'' And you do.

And the one thing we have all learned about August National is that it is easily accessible and always open to outsiders, so we all have no excuses for not attending the Masters.

I scratched that off the bucket list two years ago,

Well bully for you.

Anyway, enough with my Masters infomercial. The next big sports thing is 10 nights away. That's the first night of filming of Draft Day, the next Costner movie, in which he plays Cleveland GM Mike Lombardi. (Sort of.)

So Kevin Costner is basically going to name-drop Bill Belichick for two hours and then never actually wonder why if he is such good friends with and well-respected by Belichick that he hasn't appeared to ever get another job offer from Belichick to work for the Patriots? Or is Costner going to spend the entire movie with an actor playing Bill Simmons following him around all day? If Costner will be Mike Lombardi then it needs to be realistic.

It's also the night of the first round of the NFL draft, which occupied most of my time this weekend when I wasn't drooling at the TV over the Masters.

Peter was drooling over the Masters. Did they start to make the golf course out of donuts, the sand traps out of lemon cake, and the water hazards made out of a mix of Starbucks coffee AND Allagash white ale? If so, I can see why Peter was drooling at the television.

When Paul Zimmerman suffered a series of strokes four-and-a-half years ago, SI's Mock Draft was handed down to me. I've done one forever, just not with the pressure that comes from following Dr. Z.

It used to drive Zim crazy, the time he spent on the unknowable. Many's the Sunday afternoon before the draft we'd be on the phone, Zim trying to crack the code of just one more team and asking if I knew anything to help. How angry he'd be if he found out something about, say, the Vikings at 11, that swayed him to make a change there, and then of course the dominoes would fall and he'd have to change 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28. Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhh! Not happy Sundays.

I realize Dr. Z was a huge professional and all, but there should be no pressure involved with making a mock draft. You are lucky to have half of the picks correct because NFL teams are not giving out complete information. Not to mention the readers don't always remember which "expert" mocked which player to which team after a few years. Mock drafts are supposed to be fun. Why so serious?

I talked in confidence to quite a few people around the league Friday through Sunday, so they could (I hoped) be relatively honest. I tried to barter some information as the calls went on, but mostly I was fishing. And the lines I cast over the weekend came up empty quite a bit.

What did Peter learn? He learned that Kevin Costner has a smile which can light up a room. Costner is so much cuter than Mike Lombardi, but not nearly as precocious as Trent Baalke.

"And,'' Mayock said, "you throw a Chip Kelly in there at No. 4. He could be so different.

How does Mike Mayock know Chip Kelly could be so different? Kelly has never been a part of an NFL Draft before. I think the "in" thing is to say that Chip Kelly is going to be different because that's what everyone else is saying.

Of the offseason moves Kelly has made, which ones are just so different? He signed Dennis Dixon, which makes sense given the fact Dixon played quarterback at Oregon. He signed James Casey, who is a tight end by trade and can also play fullback. Casey is perfect for Kelly's offense, but that doesn't mean Kelly is different anymore than it means Casey is a versatile weapon for a coach who knows how to use him.

I'm not sure they value things in Philadelphia the way everyone else does in the league anymore. So we don't know that.

No, what you don't know is how they value things in Philadelphia. You also don't know how any franchise with a new coach or GM values positions/players as it pertains to the NFL Draft, so Kelly could be different or he could be the same as other NFL coaches.

I'm in the same boat as Mayock. Here are a few things I know, or feel good about, in round one:

1.Kansas City hasn't found any takers for franchised left tackle Branden Albert -- I hear the Chiefs would take a high second-round pick for him -- and regardless whether Albert's moved or not, I don't see them doing anything but taking tackles Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher first.

It's probably a smart move...but what about Andy Reid? He's so different and values things differently from other NFL coaches.

2. Jacksonville GM David Caldwell, choosing second overall, says he's narrowed the pick down to two names. (Well, I should hope so, if you're picking second.)

It really doesn't make sense at this stage for the Jags to have the pick narrowed down to two names. Do the Chiefs have their pick narrowed down to one name? Should the Raiders have their pick narrowed down to three names? Since the draft is over a week away it would make logical sense the Jaguars haven't gotten the pick narrowed down yet to two names, especially since the Jaguars have no idea who the Chiefs are picking.

3.Oakland. Reggie McKenzie wants out of this pick. He really wants to recoup the second that was blown in the Carson Palmer trade. I can't see it happening.

Nearly half of the teams picking in the Top 10 want to trade out of the pick this year. This isn't really news.

4. Philadelphia. Eagles have been nutty about getting players who fit the 3-4.

Isn't it weird how teams who run the 3-4 defense really, really insist on finding players who fit the 3-4 defense? Just hold on Philadelphia, don't be so pushy to find players who fit the type of defense you run.

Hear they like Star Lotulelei a lot to play all along the line, even at nose. Where they go -- Geno Smith, pass rusher, best corner in the draft -- I don't know, but my guess is pass rusher.

So by Peter's logic (the same logic he used saying he hoped the Jags had their pick at #2 narrowed down to two names) the Eagles should have their pick narrowed down to four names and two of those names have to be a pass rusher just in case the Jags pick a pass rusher, right? Or if the Eagles are interested in a pass rusher then they have no interest in any other position outside of a pass rusher? I think I'm confusing myself at this point, but if the Eagles are taking a pass rusher and Peter expects these NFL teams to have their picks narrowed down to the number of their draft position then the Eagles have to have four pass rushers on their board, right?

5.Detroit. One of the two good tackles, Joeckel or Fisher, or cornerback Dee Milliner.

Great, glad that pick is narrowed down to three players.

7.Arizona. How do the Cardinals not take Lane Johnson if he's there?

Maybe they don't take him because they don't think he is the best tackle prospect at this point in the draft? I probably shouldn't argue since I thought the Cardinals needed to draft an offensive lineman in the first round last year instead of Michael Floyd.

9.New York Jets. Rex Ryan might want a corner (is the Pope an Argentinean?) but I hear he's awfully smitten with Barkevious (brother of Hughtavious) Mingo of LSU.

Peter just can't get over how minorities name their children such funny names! They are so precocious! I want the Jets to take a corner here. It's not like there are other needs on the roster (OL, QB, for starters) or there is a really good OL prospect that will possibly be available in this spot (Chance Warmack). Go with a corner though, that'll win ya' a Super Bowl.

I did one mock draft Saturday night that ended with no quarterbacks in the first round. But I eventually put Geno Smith in my mock for the magazine, because there's just too much smoke about him going in the first round. I just don't know who's going to take him

Chip Kelly can be different. Maybe he will take a chance on drafting a quarterback rather than sticking Mike Vick back there for one more year to brutally disappoint Eagles fans? It would be so different to draft a quarterback in the first round.

Study history if you want to have the best chance to nail the Giants, at 19, and know they've taken four pass rushers high in the last 10 drafts and just lost Osi Umenyiora in free agency ...

And who hasn't wanted to nail the Giants at some point in the past? Like nail the entire team. They are so cute (unlike Mike Lombardi), it's just natural everyone wants to nail them.

At 20, Chicago seems poised to take a tight end or Brian Urlacher heir, with all the offensive linemen likely gone by this point ... 

Yes, the Bears should not draft an offensive lineman. That way we can start the "at what yard line will Jay Cutler finally get murdered by a pass rusher?" pool started before the actual season begins.

Clueless about New England at 29,

I would be shocked if Peter wasn't clueless about what player the Patriots would pick in this spot. I could probably have left the "about what player the Patriots would pick in this spot" part of the sentence out and still be correct.

but the Pats pick 29, 59 and 91, and then not again until the seventh round. You have to figure one of those, at least, is a receiver, and one's a corner ...

Peter is clueless, but that doesn't stop him from trying to give his readers clues.

Now for the Super Bowl participants. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has been at a high number of receiver workouts, I'm told. "This isn't about 2013 for the Niners,'' one GM told me. "Harbaugh knows he'll be there for a while. They just lost Randy Moss, and Anquan Boldin is there for a year, and they don't know about [2012 first-round pick] A.J. Jenkins [out of Illinois]. Receiver's very logical for them there.'' Harbaugh is one who wouldn't be scared of Patterson.

Because Harbaugh could be different, he could draft a wide receiver this year that has a ton of talent. Not every NFL team has the guts to do this, but Jim Harbaugh isn't afraid. He inexplicably drafted A.J. Jenkins last year so this year he may choose a receiver with talent.

At 32, Baltimore would love a physical safety to play alongside free-agent acquisition Michael Huff, but it could be that all three big safeties here (Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam and Jonathan Cyprien) are all gone, and a tight end they love, Tyler Eifert, is gone too. Alec Ogletree wouldn't surprise here, but the guy I gave them in my mock draft is someone I haven't seen anyone else put in the first round.

Who did Peter mock to the Ravens? Brett Favre. It only makes sense that the Ravens draft Favre because they are trading Joe Flacco and just need someone to hold down the quarterback position for a few years until Alex Smith or Tyrod Taylor are ready to take over.

Finally: Quarterbacks Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib and E.J. Manuel all should be gone by 41. (Buffalo picks there, and I expect the Bills to take a quarterback in the first two rounds.) The quarterback position is the toughest to figure in this draft. A sliding Geno Smith could make it more problematic if he's not taken in the first dozen picks -- and I cannot promise he will be.

So Peter picked only one quarterback to go in the first round and he expects three quarterbacks to go from picks 33-41?

Mayock-fest. When Mike Mayock did his pre-Scouting Combine conference call with the media in February, he answered more than 150 questions from more than 180 reporters. The call took two-and-a-half hours. This week, on Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, he'll do his pre-draft conference call with reporters ... and NFL Network is going to stream it live on NFL.com. Go to nfl.com/mayockdraftcall to hear it Thursday, if you have quite a bit of time. You know Mayock.

I actually don't know Mike Mayock. As much fun as it would be to hear Mayock guess (and Peter in this MMQB said Mayock doesn't seem to know much about the draft) about what picks each team will make, I'm pretty sure I am busy at 1pm on Thursday with the full-time job I have.

"I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. I loved Roger Staubach. I always dreamed of playing for the Cowboys, playing in the Super Bowl.''

-- Brett Favre, in an interview with Cowboys radio voice Brad Sham at an SMU-sponsored event in Dallas Friday.

It had been a few weeks since Peter mentioned Brett Favre. It's about time he shoehorned a Favre mention into MMQB. After all, it's not like Favre will reference himself. Well, actually Favre probably would reference himself since he adores the spotlight, but you get what I am saying. Peter has to work to keep Favre's name out there.

Cowboys fans should feel lucky Favre didn't end up in Dallas. They could have had one Super Bowl victory in the 90's rather than having three Super Bowl victories. I tell you, Brett Favre has been retired for going on three seasons now and Peter King STILL brings him up in MMQB at every possible opportunity. Not that his obsession with Favre is anything new of course. How many other retired players get talked about by Peter when they say absolutely nothing newsworthy more than Favre?

"This will cast a dark shadow over the entire day of golf, over this entire event, but more importantly over his entire career for the rest of the life."

-- Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, on the two-stroke penalty againstTiger Woods in the Masters Saturday, and what said penalty will mean for Woods in the future.

That is some pathetic golf analysis. Shouldn't these analysts go to Hyperbole School?

This is some major hyperbole, but it's no different from the "analysis" we hear from sports announcers and analysts all the time. I get this is a lot of hyperbole, but if Peter watches any type of sports or morons talking about sports then he should hear hyberbole like this all the time.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Well, now I've seen the other side. I spent three days last week in Boston, Detroit and Chicago talking to advertisers and ad agency reps about the new NFL-exclusive website SI is foolish enough to be giving me to play with. This week, I'll do more in Manhattan, and I'll travel to Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles.

So it is an NFL-exclusive site I guess. I'm excited that Peter is going to be traveling all week on SI's dime. This should give him a fair opportunity to complain about the minor inconveniences that life can bring to him while he is on the road. Prepare yourselves, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles. Have your coffee hot and prepared and don't you dare to give him a fucking foreign cab driver. Make it Colombian and hot when it is coffee and make it American and polite if it is a cab driver.

The Five Things I Have Learned About the Business of Our Business:

1. Dress is pretty casual. I have never dressed well consistently, but I figured I should on this trip, and so I went in with a pinstripe suit to chat with the Chevy Silverado folks. Not a tie in the room. Oooops. Same on the tour of agencies and companies in Chicago.

That's just ad agencies though. It seems nobody at an ad agency ever dresses up, even if they work for Chevy. It's just the nature of the beast. I have a hard time believing that Peter didn't know business casual is prevalent in ad agencies, even ad agencies who are part of a large corporation.

4. Thought I'd be meeting in some pretty stuffy board rooms. Not. Met most of Casual Friday with different agencies, and their meeting places are just as casual. In one place they brainstorm on the wall (a giant dry-erase wall) with markers.

I'm astounded Peter wouldn't think an ad agency would have a loose environment. Even the stereotype of ad agencies is that the employees are mostly young and they bounce ideas off each other. This doesn't work as well in a boardroom atmosphere, and when brainstorming, sometimes the easiest place to put ideas is up on a board. I guess Peter just didn't know what to expect, but I'm surprised he is surprised about the type of environment he encountered in these ad agencies.

5. You do a better job if you can drink well out there. I have closed Ditka's. Now that is a point of pride. I'm not usually a bar-closer or a restaurant-closer, but when the Iron Mike's Icon Cabernet flowed, I got a pretty good second wind. Talk about emptying the NFL Story Saddlebag, those guys for four big companies got my best stuff that night. And when the party of 12 went downstairs, golly, everyone was gone and the place was being vacuumed.

What Peter is saying is that he got crunk with these ad executives and he ain't sorry about it. What are the odds 90% of the stories that Peter told were about Brett Favre?

"This one time, at Brett Favre's house..."

"Wow. I love golf."

-- @AaronRodgers12, after Adam Scott made a long putt, and it was followed by the incredible Angel Cabrera approach shot on 18, forcing a playoff at the Masters.

I'm glad Peter shares these insightful Tweets with his MMQB-reading audience. It's not like this one was pointless or a waste of space or anything.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2.I think Cincinnati-Pittsburgh games next season all of a sudden got more network-attractive, assuming the Bengals and James Harrison get their deal done today. Harrison trying to sack Ben Roethlisberger (and Harrison will be revved up in a big way for those games, having been cap-purged by the Steelers) will be eight must-see quarters.

Because we all know what a draw James Harrison can be. I know I will be tuning into this game just to see a washed-up Harrison try to sack Ben Roethlisberger, since they have such a fierce rivalry. A matchup between these two teams would have been boring, but now that James Harrison has been added to the Bengals roster this is definitely must-see television. Not that Peter is desperately searching for storylines of course.

4.I think a fifth-round pick for Chris Ivory -- if the Jets really want the Saints' undrafted running back, which they do, for the right price -- is probably fair to both sides. That's the 141st overall pick, and it leaves the Jets, pre-Revis trade, with all four top picks intact, with a veteran hard-running back there as the fifth-rounder.

Well, this would be a good move for the Saints using Kingian logic (the same logic used when discussing Darrelle Revis getting traded for a 1st and 2nd round draft choice). Ivory was undrafted and they could trade a 5th round pick for him? As long as they don't trade him for a draft pick that is lower than the draft pick used to select him, then that means this trade was smart for the Saints.

6. I think someone's going to have to tell me, if the Patriots really wanted Emmanuel Sanders in restricted free agency, why they signed him to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. That's like saying, "Well, we sort of want him, but we're really not sure, and we'll give him a D-minus deal, and maybe Pittsburgh will just take the third-round pick in return." I don't get the gesture. At all.

I think the understanding was that the Patriots had a long-term deal in place with Sanders, which they would have announced if the Steelers didn't match the one-year offer sheet. The Patriots thought the Steelers wouldn't match a one-year offer sheet, so there could be the reason for the gesture.

10.I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:

d. I don't know how I missed this, but what a cool gesture this was by the former president.

I clicked on the link and all I got was an error message saying the page I requested could not be found. Is this some kind of George W. Bush joke five years too late?

e. Memo to MLB: Maybe scheduling the Mets to start the season in Queens (six games), Philadelphia (three) and outdoors in Minneapolis (three, minus Sunday's sleet-out), and then Colorado (three), with temperatures for one game this week scheduled to be in the teens, wasn't such a great idea.

Memo to Peter King: Maybe when the MLB schedule-makers created the schedule they thought given the fact it was April the temperature would not be in the teens. Memo to Peter King: MLB can't just change the schedule because it's a little bit too cold outside and they certainly can't control the weather like your lunch friend Roger Goodell probably believes he can do. 

f. Memo to MLB II: Maybe scheduling the Yankees to start the season in the Bronx (three games), Detroit (three games) and Cleveland (two coldouts, one game) wasn't such a great idea.

Memo to Peter King III: Maybe because it is April MLB thought, "hey, it won't be a problem to give Detroit and Cleveland home games because it is going to be April and we have no reason to expect the weather to be cold."

g. Memo to MLB III: Maybe scheduling the Twins outdoors in the north for the first six weeks of the season wasn't such a good idea.

Memo to Peter King IV: So the Twins just don't get any home games for the first six weeks of the MLB season? That sounds just incredibly fair. The Twins do play in an open-air park, so because you are so smart I would love to hear why the Twins shouldn't get any home games until mid-May. It's okay, I have time and can wait.

Here's the real story behind this comment. Peter has NO IDEA the Twins don't play in a dome anymore, so he doesn't know they would get no home games until mid-May if they couldn't play games outdoors in the north (which last time I checked Minnesota was in the north part of the United States) for the first six weeks of the season. This is why Peter shouldn't give an opinion on every topic that pops into his mind and I am astounded at the fact he claims to love baseball so much, since he often comes off as a dunce when discussing the sport.

h. By the way, baseball needed to suspend Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin for five games longer than the period Dodgers pitcher Zach Greinke will be gone with his fractured collarbone (which will keep Greinke out for two months), which would be a revolutionary but justifiable penalty. Instead, Quentin got eight games. There was no need for Quentin, who clearly has some sort of anger-management problem, to charge the mound Thursday night in San Diego. And for major-league baseball to slap Quentin on the wrist is to say to him and all other outlaws who have made blood sport out of charging the mound in a misplaced-traditional rite of machoness, "Hey, go kill the pitcher. It's OK."

The union would have a fit. There's no precedent saying a batter/pitcher has to stay out as long as the player he injured in a brawl caused by a batter getting hit. So I understand the sentiment, but logically it doesn't make a lot of sense given the precedent MLB has set.

i. Coffeenerdness: You know you're drinking too much espresso when you have a Starbucks gold card in your wallet and on your Starbucks phone app. Different cards too. Gold at both. That means I'm over the top as a latte man.

The fact you have two of these cards and feel the need to tell us about them also means you are a douche.

The Adieu Haiku

Angel Cabrera
should instruct a class in class.
Wouldn't you enroll?

I would enroll, but just make sure it doesn't take place in April or else Peter will have a shit-fit if the weather is too cold. 


ZidaneValor said...

Brett Favre's playing for Dallas right now. It's actually the perfect analogy. Romo brings 3-4 wins to the team (Dallas is probably 4-12 or 5-11 with an "average" QB the last two years), he'll throw enough TDs to give you a chance in any game, and you just hope that he doesn't throw a backbreaking INT.

All Romo's missing is that three game run Favre had in January 1997 that led to a Super Bowl 31 victory.

Snarf said...

^^^ While I think the comparison is decent for post-2000 (maybe 1998) Favre, I think your last sentence is a bit off. Romo has nothing on 1995 - 1997 Favre.

Peter seemed particularly Peter-esque in this column for some reason.

HH said...

Quarterbacks Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib and E.J. Manuel all should be gone by 41.

So Peter picked only one quarterback to go in the first round and he expects three quarterbacks to go from picks 33-41?

Unlikely. My prediction is that Geno Smith, Barkley, and probably one more QB go late in the first round, as teams trade up from the early second. [New England is bound to trade out of 29.] I say this because under the CBA, late first round picks get four year contracts plus a team option year, while second round picks get four year contracts. The option year is much more important for a potential franchise QB than any other position, so I bet teams who want a franchise QB in the early second will pay to move back into the late first.

Feel free to call me out if this never happens.

Snarf said...

HH, I think that's a really good point. IIRC, the top 10 picks' (of the first round) option year is at the average of the top 10 highest paid palyers at their position, similar to the franchise tag (but 10 rather than 5). Picks 11 - 32's option years are at the average of the top-20 players. That option year may make things really interesting and create some weird "bubbles" in the draft and draft trade market.

Bengoodfella said...

Zidane, that is a funny point. I'm not sure I can argue with it. Favre is a Hall of Famer, but it is just so much fun to make fun of him.

HH, I think it's unlikely too. That's a really good point about the new CBA. I did not even think about that when writing all my snark. I won't call you out if it doesn't happen because you don't claim to be a draft expert like Mel Kiper.

Snarf, I am guessing three QB's go in the first round this year. It sounds crazy, but I think the reward of drafting a potential franchise QB outweighs the risk of doing so. Basically, it isn't too cost-prohibitive to draft a QB early anymore.