Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday 04/06 A.M. Quickie:
Matsuzaka Mania and More!

Matsuzaka Mania: Worth the money? Worth the hype? Worth the wait?

Um, yes: 7 IP, 1 R, 10 K. Maybe this was a function of it being his first game. Or his first tour through the AL. Or the Royals (though Schilling certainly couldn't handle them). Who cares? He's the most must-see player in baseball right now.

Barnes turns down Kentucky, too? Now UK is left with "Plan C" (at best). That seems to be Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie.

(But didn't Gillispie just agree in principle to stay at Texas A&M? That would be kind of a dick move; I'd argue it might be worse than Nick Saban – all Saban did was lie; Gillespie would be turning his back on an actual agreement. (Apparently, I misunderstood the deal.) Amazingly, Texas A&M is letting him talk to Kentucky (which he must have negotiated with them when he was talking over his new Aggies deal), meaning Gillispie is as good as gone to Lexington. For UK, it's a great move: Gillispie is a tireless recruiter, which is UK's biggest problem right now.)

Masters: 1-over 73 for Tiger in the first round? WTF? Of course, given the way Tiger can/does charge back, his first two days' scores are basically irrelevant. (More Tiger below.)

Billy Donovan staying at Florida: I touched on this yesterday, but it's worth repeating – I figured he would stay and I'm glad he's staying. If he can turn this momentum into a couple of key as-yet-unsigned recruits, he could very well get the Gators BACK to the Final Four in '08.

Florida juniors going pro: No matter how they do in the pros, the foursome "Horford, Noah, Brewer, Green" will always have a place in college lore (along with "Humphrey" and "Richard.")

How will they do in the NBA? Bear with me: I love the NBA Draft and I happen to have seen these guys play a ton, so I have some opinions:

Al Horford (Projected Draft Spot: 3-5). Can be a prototype NBA power forward (with dribbling skills!) Could be the most NBA-ready player in the draft, including Oden and Durant.

Joakim Noah (PDS: 3-10). Say what you want about his skills, but a 7-footer with high energy (and great passing skills) will have a productive (if not All-Star) NBA career. If David Lee can be a 10-rpg player, why can't Noah?

(By "if not All-Star," I mean to say "He will not be an All-Star." I understand why some of you might have misinterpreted a vague phrase.)

Corey Brewer (PDS: 5-15). Did more to improve his draft stock during the Tournament than any other player. Already an NBA-quality defender. Most often compared to Tayshaun Prince, but Brewer is better.

Taurean Green (PDS: 2nd round?). Even if he came back, his draft stock wouldn't go up (Jason Gardner Syndrome), so he might as well leave with his pals, even if he's a 2nd-rounder.

Bob Huggins to West Virginia: K-State's the big loser here, but they knew what they were getting when they brought him in. The worst part is the "What if?" about Huggins' sick recruiting class, which could have vaulted K-State from NIT-worthy to Final Four-worthy next season. Now, you have to believe Michael Beasley will take his NBA-worthy game to Morgantown.

More MLB: Go figure -- the D-Rays still own the Yankees. (And A-Rod blew a chance to win the game, popping up with the bases loaded in the 8th. That'll really endear him with the New York fans.)

MLB Stud: Mike Piazza

Jackie Robinson "42" Homage Watch: Derrek Lee joins the list of players – one per team – that will wear No. 42.

K-Rod investigated by MLB for cheating: When was the last time a blogger spurned an actual MLB investigation. Kudos, Derek Zumsteg. If he can find his niche revealing real-time player cheating, using photos and YouTube to make his case, he's going to be a force. K-Rod insists it's merely rosin.

Arenas blogs after knee surgery: And he seems in good spirits.

"I told them to cut the leg off a couple times. You know, cut it off and then bring it back to me when it was all healed. Because, you know, Heather Mills on Dancing with the Stars, she had that leg. I was saying I could borrow one of those and finish out the season. But they wasn’t going for that."

You can forget Las Vegas getting an NBA team: It's pitch to the league wouldn't restrict NBA gambling. But who knows? Maybe it is SO enticing to have a team there that the NBA will overlook it.

New VarsityDad post(s): Name Tiger's Baby? My money's on "Earl" with the nickname "Cub."

Colin Cowherd: What a Petty Guy. (And that's putting it nicely.) Uses his platform to ruin mind-their-own-business sports-bloggers. Catch up here, here and here. (Oh, and here.) What's the difference between this and telling his listeners to torch a mom-and-pop store down the block? (There's talk that what he did violated FCC code, which would be an interesting development.) By the way, the word is that his new nickname is "Schrutebag."

RIP Darryl Stingley: In all seriousness, there is no statute of limitations on manslaughter. And if Jack Tatum's hit on him then directly contributed to his death now, that's what it was.

Sopranos Returns: Oh, I might be late to the party with this, but this is genius.

-- D.S.


TJ said...

The way Pat Forde told it, Gillespie had the extension on his desk but never signed it, and his AD knew this was because he was waiting to see if the UK job came up. I don't think anything dick happened here. And congratulations UK on managing to dodge the Rick Barnes bullet. I like beating UK, but that would have just made it too easy.

jhawkjjm said...

And teh Big XII continues to get hammered. This will now be 8 teams with a new coach in the last two years (9 if you count KState twice). That was one thing that had caused concern for writers covering KU, the lack of competitiveness in the Big XII lead to KU being unprepaid in a pressure situation like UCLA.

I'm curious to see how Gillispie will do at Kentucky, he's a defense first, second, third type coach, but all in the half court. His A&M teams were never offensive minded. But as long as he wins he'll be fine.

Matt T said...

Tiger rarely has a good first round in Augusta, the last time he won he opened with a 74. The way the course is playing this year that +1 is good, but frustrating with those 2 bogeys to end the round.

MLB game of the year so far is tonight Braves/Mets both undefeated, winner takes the first lead in the NL East.

1999 Officers said...

Your Jack Tatum comment is so crass and ignorant that I'm honestly ashamed. I'm no Tatum fan (hell, I wasn't even born when the hit happened), but a legal hit and a freak accident causing a man to die twenty years later is a pathetic way to: implicate Tatum as a villain AND offer cheap, roundabout condolences to Stingley. Seriously Dan, that was uncalled for.

verbal97 said...

So the Devil Rays split the two games with the Yankees and therefore they own them. I know you're all about Instant History, but that's ridiculous even coming from you. Also, I'm a self-confessed ARod un-fan/disliker, but how can you mention his leaving 3 on base without mentioning Abreu was in a better situation than him just a batter before.

Matsuzaka - great debut!
Elijah Dukes
Grady Sizemore

Bobby Abreu
Alex Rodriguez

Unknown said...

The "42" homage is great. I'll be curious to see if only Black players take up the number.
I hope some white players step up.
Latino players may take it up, but honestly, most will hope for a day when Clemente gets the same honor.

Cowherd. Yeah, a jerk. I'm not a big fan of his on the radio...i've never liked the loud, argue for no reason mentality of a lot of radio guys. why ESPN has anyone besides mike and mike is beyond me.

Damn you A-Rod. I could have used a grand slam from you for fantasy purposes.

Unknown said...

"7-footer with high energy (and great passing skills) will have a productive (if not All-Star) NBA career."
Dan that sentence perfectly describes Josh McRoberts.

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

Well, I don't think Stingley's estate will have much of a case in this one. You're correct there's no statute of limitations on manslaughter, but Stingley had assumption of risk by taking the football field. By all accounts, the hit Tatum put on him was legal at the time.

That being said, from what I've read the last couple days, Tatum comes off as a major league asshole. I guess it depends on who you believe though. Tatum claims he tried to visit Stingley in the hospital but Stingley's family wouldn't allow it. But, Tatum made no effort after that to visit, apologize or reconcile until about a decade ago, when he made a contrived effort to meet with Stingley in what appeared to a publicity stunt for his book he wrote. Stingley declined.

philipjsnell said...

I agree that Matsuzaka had a great debut, but don't overlook his pitching opponent yesterday, Zack Greinke of the Royals. Look at their stats, nearly identical.
7IP, 1 ER, 1BB, 7K against an arguably tougher batting lineup in the Red Sox than Dice-K faced in KC.

AND Greinke is only 23 years old as opposed to Dice-K's 26. AND Greinke makes far less money than Matsuzaka. Watch out for Zack.

ToddTheJackass said...

Reiterating a theme from yesterday, I really think that while Matsuzaka's performance was something, I think Zack Greinke really should be getting the headlines as well, considering his off-the field mental breakdowns last year. As a baseball fan, it's good to see him back and pitching again.

ToddTheJackass said...

Nice Phillip, wish I had seen your comment before I posted.

Glad someone else caught that as well. Hopefully yesterday was a sign of good things for Greinke.

Natsfan74 said...

If we are praising comebacks, let's not forget Dmitri Young. He had a home run and a double again yesterday, following his game winning single (should have been sac fly) on Wednesday. He also had 2 doubles the on Tuesday. He's got a hot bat right now, and has only really butchered one play defensively.

Funny ending to the Nats game on Wednesday. Willingham let Young's fly ball drop, hoping it would be foul. If he catches it, it's a sac fly, game over. Since it was fair, it ends up as a game winning single instead. But, the ball bounced into the stands, so it should have been a ground rule double. Since the team started celebrating as soon as the winning run crossed the plate, Young gets a single and 1 RBI, instead of the double and 2 RBI. Come the trade deadline, when Johnson is back playing 1st base in DC and the Nats are looking for good prospects for Young, they may wish that was another double and another RBI.

verbal97 said...

I must have fallen off the face of the earth...what happened with Greinke last year?

UconnFan32 said...

Personally I can't wait to see Naoh get his pony tail handed to him in the NBA the second he steps into the paint. Guys a stick and he's going to get manhandled.

ToddTheJackass said...

Basically Greinke was diagnosed with a pretty severe case of social anxiety last year, and essentially walked out of baseball for a few months before making a few minor league starts last year. I can't find a good article describing the depth of it, but it pretty much looked like he might never pitch again early in the year last year.

Here's a link that discusses it a little bit.

Bo Padgett said...

I agree with your comparison of Brewer to Tayshaun Prince. I'd give Prince the edge in shooting from distance, but I'd give Brewer athleticism and open court game. I think its a tossup defensively.

verbal97 said...

thanks todd.

TJ said...

I'm with kegdoctor.

Not well-played with the manslaughter charges there, Dan. The hit was legal at the time, and while it makes Tatum kind of a dick by playing that hard-nosed in teh preseason, it's no worse than Pete Rose barrelling into home in the all-star game. It was a freak accident, not manslaughter. (Even if Tatum's lack of remorse has made him even more of a dick.)

Anonymous said...

fire his ass

Brian in Oxford said...

Do prosthetic legs come in Arena's size and color? What if he played with a Caucasian-colored artificial leg, or one that was darker, but 2 inches too small? I think he's better off letting his real one heal.

(In all seriousness, long can limbs like that get from the manufacturer? And do they have a pigmentation effect they can add for different skin tones? What if Manute Bol lost his lower leg?)

Anonymous said...

what about my, and wilbons, comparison of brewer to pippen, im not saying he is that good I am saying in terms of being athletic long armed and a good dfeneder with a pretty raw offensive game. His passing is not as good as pippens was but his shooting is better.

Gary said...

Dan, ask Jim Calhoun how it is to lose 4 players to the first round of the NBA Draft and a 5th to the second round. I don't think a Final Four is in Florida's sights.

If you compare the two teams rosters from the 2006 Huskies and the 2007 Gators they are very similar.

1. Rashard Anderson/ Lee Humphries
(Deadly downtown shooters that have 0 chance of playing in the NBA)
2. Rudy Gay/Corey Brewer (Athletic big men that can shoot, pass, and defend* Brewer has more heart)
3. Josh Boone/Jo Noah (Overhyped, overrated big men with bad hair)
4. Hilton Armstrong/Al Horford (Big men that can rebound the heck out of the ball* Horford is much better than Armstrong)
5. Marcus Williams/Taurean Green (Good outside shooters, not great. Can dribble penetrate and play some defense, good assist men* Williams much better)
6. Denham Brown/Chris Richard (overlooked seniors coming off the bench, will be missed more than people can grasp with the other better players leaving* Richard is better)

I'm just saying, unless Donovan can pull in an Ohio State type recruiting could be a long year in Gator Nation

Anonymous said...

dear schrutbag,

Please justify your actions against the big lead, how is this different from having a bunch of people get reservations at a resturant and then not show up so the resturant gets no business?
dr. doom.

Anonymous said...

Here is todays Studs&Duds..
Grady Sizemore

Bobby Abreu

ToddTheJackass said...

Did anyone see the BC/North Dakota hockey game last night? [crickets chirping]...

Anyway, fantastic game which was tied up at 2-2 with 7 minutes left in the third, when BC scored to make it 3-2. Then BC goes on the power play, turning the puck over near their net, and the North Dakota player on the shorthanded forecheck backhands one top shelf to tie the game. A few seconds later, North Dakota takes another penalty, and BC scores again on, 4-3. Then, with about a minute-thirty left, BC is on the PK, going 6 on 4 (empty net for ND), and clears the puck, but no one gets back for North Dakota, giving a BC player the opportunity to corale the puck, skate in front of the net, and score easily. North Dakota then scores a goal with 16 seconds left (5-4), only to turn the puck over in the neutral zone, leading to another BC empty netter.

Final score, 6-4.

College Hockey, feel the excitement!

verbal97 said...

todd, sounds like a great game. Unfortunately, the bar I was in decided to show the effing Bruins game instead. I'm looking forward to watching the final on Sat. though.

Glove32 said...

What Collin Cowherd did to The Big Lead was just wrong. I usually listen to his show only for 1 hr until a BETTER SPORTS TALK SHOW comes on a 9. Maybe if this gets enough attetion he will have to apologize for his ruthless attack and what is to stop him from another attack on another sports blog. I will have to listen to something else and not his show

pv845 said...

Dan, you can't be more wrong about Noah. He may actually get drafted that high, but he will be on the receiving end of dunks and looks like a fool with his screaming tantrums. No way he will ever make an all-star game.
I agree about Greinke being equally as impressive in his first start. I hope he continues to pitch well and the anemic bats come alive for the boys in blue.
The guys on Baseball tonite were having a hard time staying honest about Dice-K. It was impressive yes, but even as a Roayls fan, I am not going suggest they are anywhere in the offensive league as the BlueJays, Yankees, hell even the Indians or D-Rays. 7 hits is not going to go over well against those teams.

Brian in Oxford said...

That's okay for Dice. I don't think the Yanks have anyone as good to throw out there against him as the Royals did with Greinke :) He may win 7-4 instead of 4-1.

pv845 said...

Brian, I did not even consider the lack of pitching. Though I heard the Yankees are trying out some sort of time machine to switch the pitchers they have now with their better past selves. (OK maybe not)

Anonymous said...

Someone give me the low down with what happened between colin C. and a blogger please?

rc said...

Brewer is better than Prince????????? You must be kidding me Dan! The only way to explain that comment is that you are so in love with florida that your head is so far up your ass! College championships are nice, but wake me when Brewer has won a NBA ring and is an integral part of one of the best NBA teams year in and year out!

Jen said...

My cousin's friend (DeJesus) ripped that homer off Dice K yesterday. YEAAAAH! Too bad that was all KC could do.

Where are all the girls around here?

stooncer said...

Just because a guy has one good game and has the words "Red Sox" on the front of his jersey mean we need to start slurping? Jared Weaver started 9-0 last year and wasn't even sniffing the Cy Young. Hell, he didn't even get a mention on ESPN until he was 8-0. Dice is good, but let's see where he is at the end of the season.

The tribute to Jackie Robinson has been tarnished when I found out that the A's will be represented by Milton Bradley (a bonafide nut job) and the Angels will be represented by Gary Matthews Jr. (technically not a cheater, but not exactly forthecoming either). I thought these guys were supposed to uphold Jackie's legacy? This is absurd.

ToddTheJackass said...

No, the slurping is because the dude has command and control of like seven pitches, including a mid-90s fastball. But yeah, it was over the Royals (without Sweeney and Grudzielanek even), so it's not going to be indicative of how every start will be. Still, it was something inevitably for people to get excited about. Whether or not he will be dominant all year, he showed that he has the capability to be, which is important.

Weaver deserved more credit last year, but I know I was skeptical (and still am) that Weaver gives up too many fly balls. Didn't hurt him last year, but I think once people get a better read on his delivery, he'll give up a lot of gopher balls. That was his MO in college I believe.

jhawkjjm said...

Gillispie's contract at UK according to what was said at the press conference: $2.3 million a year for 7 yrs. I believe his A&M contract was for 1.7ish.

BLUE said...

having met Jack Tatum, and going to HS with his daughter...who was a hell of a basketball sir are an ASS!!!!

I can only hope that a reader of yours kills himself and blames you, so that you too can be accused of manslaughter by an ignorant blog author.

Trayton Otto said...

How about some mention of the Davis Cup kicking off today in South Carolina? Do the Americans have a chance now that they're off clay and don't have to face Nadal?

How big an opportunity is it for the US to have Spain knock out a Roger-less Switzerland in the first round and a facing a Nadal-less Spain in the second round? Can the US parlay this into a finals appearance?

We know Roddick is clutch in the Davis Cup, but can Blake step it up and regain his composure? We have two top 10 singles players. We should inspire fear and awe, not appear vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Noah = More annoying Anderson Varejao

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

Hey, Dan, how about some hockey news? And no, we're not looking it up for you today.

CMFost said...

Dice-K was good in his first start and as a red sox fan I was glad to see it. Yes, it was against the royals and a better indiction will be what he does against the Yankees and the Blue Jays but he definetly show some promise.

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

How about some mention of the Davis Cup kicking off today in South Carolina? Do the Americans have a chance now that they're off clay and don't have to face Nadal?

You mean the Davis Cup begins and ends? Have we ever crowned a Davis Cup champion or do they just get to the semifinals, say screw it, and start over again?

CMFost said...

wow Tiger is +4 on his round today and +5 for the tournament.

CMFost said...

Don't you know we never talk tennis, soccer or hockey here?

Anonymous said...

Don't you know we never talk tennis, soccer or hockey here?



CMFost said...

I only hope that the premiere of the Soprano's is 1/2 has good as the premiere of The Sheild but I have very low expectations based on the last couple of episodes.

Brian in Oxford said...

I before E, except after C, dude....

Good Friday is a slow day. Started to watch the Gillespie press conference, but couldn't get into it.

It's okay to talk about hockey here, even college hockey...just don't expect Dan to provide it to us on the main page. I use the comments to fill in the gaps in what Dan glosses over.

The heroin sheik said...

It isn't so much that the Rays own the yankees but last year we seemd to play them and the Sox very close whereas we sucked against everyone else. I read some stat where we had the most home wins of any team to have as bad of a losing record as we did. We were over 500 at home mostly on beating up the yankees and red sox. I really think we have a legit shot at 3rd place in our division simply because of all the offensive talent we have.

My condolences to the Stingley family but I really never thought the hit was that bad. I remember one on Thanksgiving back around 83 or 84 where the lions were playing the eagles I think. The punt returner was hit so hard that I still can see his head snapping back in slo-mo. I think he broke his neck on that play. That was one of the most gruesome injuries I have ever seen.

chitown italian said...

I being a Cubs fan made the following comment to a co-worker Red Sox fan (yes I know it's the first week but the money spent is worth talking about).

The Cubs spent $300M and have ONE win.
The Red Sox spent $100M for Mats and have ONE win.

Who has the better ROI so far?

Matt T said...

Tiger finished at +3, he pulled it together somewhat towards the end of the round. He's still in decent position.

willie_dixon said...

i rarely comment, but to say that Brewer is better than Prince is ridiculous, even more ridiculous than thinking Noah will be an all-star