Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday 04/03 A.M. Quickie:
Florida's Finale and MLB Openings

Florida beats Ohio State for back-to-back NCAA titles. For the sake of keeping things on this post more free-flowing, I'll point you to the post directly below to make your comments about the NCAA title game and to argue about Florida's place historically.

I personally would rank this Florida as the best team of the post-'85 era and certainly as the best starting five of all time. (It's hard to argue they aren't, given they are the first complete starting five to win two straight titles.) I'll be interested to see how fans, bloggers, media and "experts" come down on this topic, both now and as history allows for more perspective.

(That post below's third comment down ended up as my additional commentary on what I see as the main argument over the best team of the "modern" (post-'85) era of college hoops: '91-92 Duke vs. '06-07 Florida. You could make the case that '90-91 UNLV was a better team than both, but (a) the Rebels weren't a repeat champ and (b) Duke beat them head-to-head in '91. I think this Florida team is better than both.)

But the larger point is probably worth making, and the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi beat me to it: You won't see this again in college hoops -- three NBA Lottery-bound stars all putting off the pros to stick around to repeat as champs. You can dislike the team for a lot of reasons, but at least appreciate that kind of novelty.

Tournament M.O.P.: Corey Brewer was the most outstanding player on the winning team, but it's hard to disagree that Greg Oden wasn't the most outstanding overall. His last college game was his best college game in his biggest college game. (Does beating back the most talented college center of the last 20 years having his best game ever improve the Gators' "all-time-best" argument?)

NBA Draft Futures: Oden locked himself in at No. 1. Horford is locked in the Top 5. I think Joakim slipped a little (3-10). Corey Brewer improved his stock (from 15-22 to 10-16). Taurean Green would go undrafted; if he came out Mike Conley would be a mid-first-round pick. And I think that Gators 6th man Chris Richard could be a surprise first-round pick.

Tournament Challenge: The post below also includes the final results of the Daily Quickie Readers group, including this year's champ (C. Mills) and an 18th-place performance (out of 1,200!) by my 10-month-old. Congrats to everyone who placed higher than the National Bracket of 83.3 percentile (ironically, the same percentile I ended up in).

2007 Name of the Year Bracket: Vanilla Dong wins.

MLB Opening Day: Here's what I want to know – who had Gil Meche outdueling Curt Schilling and the Royals beating the living snot out of the Red Sox? For one day: "Gil Meche, Best Free Agent Signing Ever."

Again, put your NCAA Tournament comments in the post below. In THIS post, let's revive the old Morning Quickie tradition of MLB "Studs" and "Duds." Can't wait for your nominations. (Let me throw a few out there: Adam Dunn, Ben Sheets, King Felix.)

College Hoops Coaching Carousel: Dana Altman to Arkansas. That's a big step up from Creighton. Iowa hires Todd Lickliter. Butler obviously has an awesome track record at developing big-time coaches. They'll both do well. (And, as expected, WVU's John Beilein is bringing his complex offense and gimmicky defense to Michigan. Big Ten coaches' tape-work just got a lot harder.)

OK, so what happens to Billy Donovan NOW? I think he'll politely listen to Kentucky's offer, then let Florida not only match it financially, but exceed it, making him the highest-paid coach in college basketball. (Of course, it's not like he doesn't deserve to be.)

Women's Tournament: What's the chance that Tennessee's Candace Parker has as dominating a performance as Greg Oden? Without a strong rooting interest, I have to go with the novelty of Rutgers over yet another affirmation that Pat Summitt is the world's best basketball coach.

NBA: Dwyane Wade practices pain-free. Your best-bet is to join me on the "Heat Repeat" bandwagon now, before it gets too crowded in mid-May.

OK, so men's college hoops season is over. I'm happy with how college hoops' "post-Oden Era" worked out -- the regular season was filled with parity, freshmen DID turn out to be pretty good for the game and the tournament, while lacking sustained drama or Cinderellas, ended with the rare combination of dominance AND novelty. But it's time to move on.

Baseball has started. Around the corner is the NFL Draft and the NBA Playoffs, with perhaps a little spring college football for good measure. Welcome to the spring.

-- D.S.

134 comments:

Matt T said...

MLB
Stud:
Edgar Renteria - game tying HR in the 8th, game winning HR in the 10th.

Duds:
Curt Schilling
Brad Lidge

Cycledan said...

A-Rod was 2-5 with a HR in the opening game. Pretty good day at the office other than his error. by the way, he came a long way in foul territory and got mixed up with a swirling wind. It wasn't such a terrible error. Jeter's was worse but he is not getting booed.

What seems endemic to A-Rod's career lately is he struck out with two guys on early in the game and after the Yanks took the lead for good, he added some insurance with his HR. That just extended his rep as big numbers in non-critical moments.

Manning won a SB to permanently erase the "Can't win the big one" tag. Maybe this is A-Rod's year to hit a HR in the 7th game of the World Series and erase his ignominious reputation for choking.

Geoff said...

Maybe the most accomplished starting 5. But best starting 5? Eh... there is a difference between being the best and accomplishing the most. And certainly they are not the best team since 85. But that is your 5 years of passionate fandom talking I suppose.

Patriots64 said...

Good character win by the Jays in Detroit!!

NHL playoffs which are 10X better than the NBA playoffs also start a week from tomorrow!!

Jason said...

If we're talking MOP for the entire tourney, Oden doesn't belong in the conversation, unless being in foul trouble qualifies as "outstanding."

The best in the MLB yesterday was King Felix, with Ben Sheets right behind.

Matt said...

Ah, studs and duds.

Makes me nostalgic for the days of the MQ.

I was going to check in and see if you were still doing those, I was looking forward to posting my own personal studs and duds on my website this season. Probably will anyway. Some ideas are just too good not to steal.

CMFost said...

Stud - Hanley Ramirez and Ben Sheets
Dud - Curt Schilling, Conteras and A-Fraud,

stacker said...

I think ARod deserved a break yesterday. He singled and stole second, eventually scoring the winning run. Then he hit a HR with the game still in doubt in the 8th to put it out of reach.

Looking forward to NHL Playoffs. What are the chances of that getting a mention on the blog? Hopefully good.

chitown italian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CMFost said...

and for anyone who questions why i made A-Rod a dud, it is simple when it counted yesterday he was a dud when it was not important and his team was on his way to winning he was a stud

rafael said...

Stud definitely to Ben Sheets. I want to give one out to Aaron Harang as well. Great first game for the Reds.

I would not be shocked if Donovan left. His top 3-4 guys will be gone next year. Is the team that deep? If you consider how much this Florida team will lose next year, how different is that talent level from where Kentucky is now? Rebuilding either way. Rebuilding in Kentucky is better than in Florida.

The main reason I cannot call this Florida team the best ever is that I don't go for bestowing that title right away. I think one needs historical perspective. In 5 years, I'll revisit the repeat Gators.

I predict many more long nights and days for Schilling. He's done.

The NCAA title game mergins seamlessly into the start of baseball season is a blessing. No hangover from the end of one season.

Jason said...

To put it more succinctly:

Studs: King Felix, Ben Sheets
Middle: A-Rod (game winning run, HR to seal the deal with an RISP, but stupid error)
Dud: Curt Schilling
Other Shoutouts: Gil Meche, Justin Morneau

chitown italian said...

Tell me again why I drafter Schilling?

Nice error by the $50M man last night. Hit him square in the glove and he dropped it.

Comment from Sunday's game: Did anyone see the putout from Beltran to LoDuca? There is nothing sweeter than an outfield rope for the assist.

Patriots64 said...

Arod stole a base and scored the winning run and hit a homer to help the seal the deal in a high scoring game. Not a stud but definitely not a dud performance.

Todd said...

Studs:
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Ben Sheets
3. Gil Meche
4. Edgar Renteria
5. Adam Dunn

Duds:
1. Jose Contreras
2. Curt Schilling
3. Derek Lowe
4. Red Sox Baserunning
5. Yankees defense

CMFost said...

additional Duds - Derek Lowe, Rodney from the Tigers, Zambrano, The Cubs and Red Sox offense.

Stud - Tony Pena Jr(2 Triples)

Nick said...

Stud: Justin Morneau - follows up AL MVP with dinger in first AB, 6 bases total.

Dud: Jose Contreras, anyone?

Jason said...

Also Sizemore should get a shout-out. Fantasy team FTW!

Dan Mega said...

I agree that Contreras blew it yesterday. Big time! At least the White Sox bullpen looked solid besides the rookie. I am very worried about this starting rotation.

A-Rod could hit .600 for the season with 100 homeruns and he will still get booed. Jeter could K in 400 straight AB's and Yanks fans/the NY media will still claim he is the greatest ever.

A-Rod >>> Jeter

I said it once and I'll say it again, FL is the new DUKE!

CMFost said...

@Rafeal - One game does not mean a piture is done. Schilling had a bad game, he trouble controlling his fastball. I think you have to judge someone on more then one game. And if you think Schilling is done, I guess Conteras should just retire after his start yesterday.

Patriots64 said...

Where's the Baseball preview and predictions Dan?

Odds are Dan has the Yankees ahead of the Sox's after Schilling's performance!!

Geoff said...

And yes, a BIG dud to Fernando Rodney for that wonderful 10th inning he pitched yesterday. Also Craig Monroe. 0-4 with 4 K's.

Spencer said...

Stud(s):
Ben Sheets (dang)
Adam Dunn (hit ball, go far)
B.J. Upton (up and coming stud)
Justin Morneau (mvp year two?)

Dud(s):
Jose Contreras (ouch)
Brad Lidge (same song, diff verse)
Bobby Crosby (2 errors cost the game)
Red Sox Offense (Gil Meche???)

verbal97 said...

Studs:
-Ben Sheets
-Mariano Rivera
-Gil Meche
-Edgar Renteria
-Adam Dunn

Duds:
-Jose Contreras
-Brad Lidge
-The home plate umpire of the KC/Bos game
-Detroit Tigers bandwagon
-ARod haters

Schilling wasn't a dud because I think he's done. It would be surprising if he did well. Seriously, he looks like he aged 30 years in the last 2...and his pitching is declining too.

Detroit is the new Florida, which is the new Duke. All of the "experts" are saying Detroit is the favorite and it's completely turned me off to a team that otherwise I wouldn't care about either way.

To the ARod haters, blow me! I'm far from a fan of his, but he was 2-5 with a HR, a K with men on, an error and scored the winning run. All and all and average day, but extremely far off from being a dud. I find it funny that Red Sox fans blast Yankee fans for booing him and then say he was a dud. Can't have it both ways.

Jason said...

I'm with P64, btw, about the lack of a season preview. FWIW, here's mine.

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Angels
AL Wild: Tigers (they'd win the division if not for the Rogers injury)
NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild: Phillies

AL MVP: Grady Sizemore
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
AL Cy: Jeremy Bonderman
NL Cy: Jake Peavy

LDS: Mets defeat Cardinals, Diamondbacks defeat Phillies, Indians defeat Yankees, Tigers defeat Angels.

LCS: Diamondbacks defeat Mets (and this is coming from a Mets fan), Tigers defeat Indians.

World Series: Tigers defeat Diamondbacks.

Todd said...

I have to say that I was impressed by KC yesterday. Obviously it's only one game, but the crowd was into it, the players were really hustling, and it seemed like they showed more passion for the game than any Royals team I've seen in a long time. Now that they've got a good GM, maybe they can at least make some noise (even if that means just being spoilers).

I think it'd be great for baseball if KC became a good franchise again.

As for the Red Sox, they just looked flat, made costly baserunning errors, and seemed to coast a bit too much yesterday. Hopefully that's not a sign of things to come, but it was day one, so I'm not concerned.

Brian in Oxford said...

Sure we can, we boo ALL the yankees.

Todd said...

Also, it's bad that early in the game there were audible boos coming toward A-Rod for his first at bat, and for his error, but when he hit the home run they wanted him to do a curtain call? Please...

You know, I was thinking about this, and if A-Rod opts out of his contract, would the Sox be interested? Manny's albatross contract would come off the books in another year, and the Sox would have a hole at the corner infield with Lowell gone... Not really any promising corner infield prospects for the Sox above single-A either...

DrDoom said...

uhm in my opinion they are the most accomplished team but not the best. Would this team have beaten maryland 00-02. No. Baxter and wilcox equalize noah and horford if not destroy them then mouton and then we have the most clutch player ever.

Jon said...

This baseball season already looks like a continuation of last year. ARod being booed, Royals owning the Red Sox, Brad Lidge blowing another save, Theo still regretting trading away Hanley, Santana winning again.....

jhawkjjm said...

Studs:
1. King Felix
2. Ben Sheets
3. Gudzialanek (whatever)
4. Tony Pena Jr (two triples?!?!)
5. Gil Meche

Duds:
1. Schilling
2. Zambrano
3. Red Sox offense

Ok so there's 3 Royals in the Studs list, give them a break. They'll be elimated by this time next week.

CMFost said...

Can someone tell me what is with the Yankees fans and curtain calls lately? Haven't the fans been there before? Don't they know you don't give ciurtain calls for every home run your team hits. It more for those mutli HR games, the game winning hr's. But curtain Call and the bronx have become and epidemic

Andy said...

Verbal, you're dead on. A-Rod wasn't that bad. I didn't see the error, but if I see someone's stat line with no name and it says they went 2 for 5 with a HR, a SB, and 2 runs scored, I'm going to say that they had a pretty dang good day. A-Rod is not a good third baseman. That's obvious and it's been known forever. But he's also playing out of position. The guy is a shortstop. He just got traded to the wrong team.

Jon said...

I remember going to a game in Fenway and seeing Mo Vaughn booed throughout the game...until he hit a home run late to help them win and then the cheers came out. So, the ARod thing doesn't only happen in NY.

As for where ARod will be playing next year, it probably won't be NY or Boston. He'll either go to the West Coast or back to Texas.

Jon said...

cmfost - you're right about the curtain calls at Yankee Stadium. Idiot fans there want one after every homerun. Homerun should mean something to get one of those.

Bayma said...

MLB Stud -- Hanley Ramirez (4-6, 2 2Bs and 2 1Bs, 2 steals) with a tip of the cap to Miguel Cabrera (3-4, upper deck HR, 4 RBIs, 2BBs, and some fantastic glove work).

MLB Dud -- Big Z getting tagged for 5 runs in 5 innings.

chitown italian said...

AL: Angels, Indians, Red Sox, WC: Yankees
NL: Dbacks, Astros, Phillies, WC: Dodgers

AL Champs: Angels
NL Champs: Phillies

WS Champs: Phillies

rafael said...

lol
cmfost, i don't base it on just one game.

i base it solely on the fact that I don't like Schilling, he's not on my fantasy team, therefore, I say he's done. :)

nooch said...

i was at the phillies opener yesterday, and big stud goes out to renteria hitting the game tying AND game winning home run.

Where the F was that in Boston????

verbal97 said...

I didn't see the curtain call, but I can most definitely agree with you all (gasp! agree?! that can't be!). Curtain calls for doing something you're paid well to do is ridiculous. I work in a Genetics lab and I'm paid like crap and I don't get a curtain call everytime I get an experiment to work. Big moments, as mentioned, are deserving of recognition, but otherwise sit your purple-lipped ass down.

Natsfan74 said...

Stud yesterday Dmitri Young -- 2 doubles, RBI, decent defense, and is better off there than in jail. Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera were also good.

Dud yesterday -- Carlos Zambrano and Curt Schilling (probably won't ever happen to those 2 on the same day /week again)

Donovan doesn't get the raise at Florida that he would get at Kentucky. Now, I'm not saying he's staying or going, but Florida isn't going to pay him more than the $2.5M that Urban Meyer makes since football is still the money-making sport at Florida. If Donovan wants to make the bucks, he'll bolt. If he is happy building a new tradition for less money ($4M at UK, $2.4M at UF), then he'll stay. But my guess is, it's all about the Benjamins (what else does he have to prove at Florida), so he takes the job in Kentucky.

SF said...

Dan,

Where did you see that Beilein to Michigan was a done deal? I cannot find an actual report.

STUD: Tie between King Felix and Ben Sheets (Morneau and Hanley as STUD bats)

DUD: Tie between Say it ain't Sosa and Brad Lidge

Todd said...

Haha, I like your reasoning for Schill's decline Rafael... I've been saying the same thing about Giambi for a few years now too...

I will say that Schill just looked bad yesterday. Was relying too much on his two-seam fastball, and not enough on his split (though the one to K Alex Gordon was filthy). In Spring Training he worked a lot on his changeup, and to me that seems like he's trying to become a little more of a finesse pitcher, which I'm just not sure if that's his game. Or if it's too late in his career to attempt that transformation of pitching to miss bats toward pitching to contact.

The one thing that I will say is that Schill usually does have very good control, and yesterday he didn't. So it's entirely possible that it was just a hiccup yesterday, since his track record is phenomenal regarding control.

verbal97 said...

Todd,

Can't it be that Schilling simply isn't a great pitcher anymore?

That said, the home plate ump had a bad game.

Geoff said...

Just do a google news search for "Beilein". You'll see numerous stories stating that he has accepted Michigan's offer.

Todd said...

Totally agree, Schill isn't a great pitcher anymore. He's no longer a true ace pitcher.

That being said, I still think he could be a very good pitcher this year, and there still aren't many other guys I'd rather have pitching in the postseason for my team than Schill.

verbal97 said...

ok, fair enough Todd. The two Red Sox fans I went to Cask and Flagon with to watch the game yesterday said Schilling was their ace. I scoffed, but given my surroundings didn't say anything else.

verbal97 said...

...And where's the Champions' League preview?

Andy said...

Stud: Everyone on Cleveland

Dud: Zambrano - ironically went further yesterday (5 innings) than he did in the Cubs' opening day victories the last two years (4 2/3 innings). And Lidge. Again. Sad to see from an ND alum.

Andy said...

Other andy, change your display name. I was here first. \

Zambrano is just not a good Opening Day pitcher. His passion/enthusiasm don't go well with the Opening Day jitters. He was rushing everything yesterday. He'll be alright though. But yesterday, he was a dud.

gerard l callan II said...

what are the chances the juniors all agree to try once more and go for the three peat?

they would go down as the best starting 5 of all time GUARANTEED and be one of NCAA's biggest (if not, the biggest) historical stories.

Jason said...

how exactly does one change their user name? I know there are two (maybe more) Jasons around here and I'll man up and change to avoid confusion.

rafael said...

you kiddin'? they got enough backlash this year. Another year of hate? Pffft.. if they're going to put up with that crap, they should at least get paid millions.

Though, on that note, I'm not as optimistic as Dan on their pro prospects.
Horford, Noah. Definitley. Brewer as well. I just don't think they'll go as high as he does. Richard...meh.

Does the NBA have combines like the NFL?

Todd said...

You have to go into your blogger profile to change your name.

Try this Link

The heroin sheik said...

Lost in all the talk about the yankees was how the d-rays looked. If we could just get our young pitchers to figure out what they are doing we could be a real giant killer this year. We have the speed and the bats to beat you but we cant hold a lead since our pen is no better than AA. The guy who hit the A-rod error is ty wigginton and he is great. He plays every position in the field and looks like uncle fester when he shaves his head.

My MLB preview.

AL EAST- Damn Yankees bad band and team
AL Central- Detroit Rock City
AL West- Las Angeles Angels of the OC bitch.
Wildcard Twins

NL East - Bravos
NL Central Cubs if they can keep it together otherwise it is the redbirds
NL West the friar tucks.
Wildcard Metropoles

twins over yanks, detroit over angels. twins over detroit

brave over mets, padres over cubs
padres over braves

twins over padres

What do I know

Andy said...

I don't even use my blogger account. I'm signed in with Gmail so I'm not changing my name that's on my email account. It's much easier for the other andy to change his name. Plus, I've been commenting for months under andy. Why should I have to change?

Here's my MLB preview:

AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Angels
AL WC: Tigers

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL WC: Phillies

AL DS: Indians over Blue Jays, Angles over Tigers

NL DS: Cubs over Phillies, Diamondbacks over Mets

LCS: Cubs over D-Backs, Angels over Indians

World Series: Cubs over Angels

Am I biased? Absolutely. But come on, it's been 99 years. I gotta pick them. I can't think of a better time than 99 years.

Brian in Oxford said...

Cubs fans can do shots of 99 bananas, or 99 apples, or 99 oranges, 99 black cherries....

Keith said...

In case it hasn't been said enough times:

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week!

Why do we constantly need to nag you about this, Dan?

Luke Bell said...

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Angels
WC: Tigers

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers (I can dream)
NL West: Padres
WC: Mets

AL: Twins over Yankees, Angels over Tigers, Twins over Angels

NL: Brewers over Phillies, Padres over Mets, Padres over Brewers

WS: Padres over Twins in 7.

Estimated accuracy rate: 0%

verbal97 said...

Does anyone else find it disconcerting that the New York City council is passing a bill to ban aluminum bats from Little League?

Andy said...

What's their reasoning verbal?

Big D said...

Without reading through 50 other posts (so sorry if I'm duplicating)...

Immediate Studs:
Edgar Renteria
Gil Meche
Adam Dunn

Immediate Duds:
Schilling (ugh... what the hell was that?
Lugo (Yes, I'm picking on the Red Sox)
Bedard (Not the best start from a "sleeper" staff ace).


Also... I think I found Google's April Fool's Day Joke for 2007.

Or, at least, I hope this is a joke.

ndyanksfan05 said...

rangers are getting hot at the right time - look for them to make a push and go deep in the playoffs.

LOVE opening day...love it so much I was checking my phone during a conference in which I was giving a presentation in front of 175 people to see the Yanks score in the 4, 5, 6 and 7 inning. Hopefully no one noticed. A-rod having a 'dud' day is absolutely ridiculous. Guy gets two hits (one of which being a huge lead off single late in a tie game and then stealing a base) and then having a MONSTER home run (absolutely crushed a ball low and away over center field). Everyone listens to the media way to much and buys into the stupid 'not clutch' bullshit that surrounds A-Rod. You can't hit 40 HR and drive in 130 runs a season and be unclutch...none of those 130 RBIs helped the yanks right? Classic media sensationalism...

verbal97 said...

A pitcher got hit with a batted ball in the chest and subsequently died of cardiac arrest. The powers that be have decided that the scapegoat and the blame (because in politics a scapegoat and blame has to exist) on the aluminum bats.

Of course it's an extremely unfortunate tragedy, but it's a stretch to blame aluminum bats (IMO anyway).

Todd said...

My predictions for the season:

AL East: Yankees (97 games)
AL Central: Indians (92 games)
AL West: Angels (94 games)
AL Wild Card: Red Sox (93 games)

NL East: Mets (102 games)
NL Central: Brewers (90 games)
NL West: Dodgers (96 games)
NL Wild Card: Padres (92 games)

AL: Angels over Red Sox/Yankees over Indians
Angels over Yankees

NL: Mets over Padres/Dodgers over Brewers
Mets over Dodgers

WS: Mets over Angels

AL MVP: Travis Hafner
NL MVP: Carlos Beltran
AL CY: Johan
NL CY: Sheets

CMFost said...

Todd the only problem with your prediction is: if Voters would not vote for Ortiz for MVP because he is a DH then they will not vote for hafner either

Tyler said...

Studs: Bill Hall (MIL) -- had a home run and made two sick catches: a diving catch in center and another one to rob a homer.

Tony Pena Jr. (KC) -- two triples to go along with some real slick fielding

Duds: Every Boston Offensive Starter, with the possible exception of Big Papi

verbal97 said...

cmfost, that's the only thing wrong with his predictions? He has the Mets and their awesome starting rotation winning the WS.

CMFost said...

Wow, now Shanoff is getting mentions on SI.com



check out #5 on the March Media Power Rankings

ndyanksfan05 said...

PS - if we want to talk about unclutch - how bout Big Papi striking out late in the game (7th/8th inning) with two on in a four run game...He must be terrible right? He gets my DUD vote for the day (please note sarcasm)

Jason said...

and about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I'm pissed that Lou Lamoriello fired Claude Julien with three games to go. Way to be a dick.

Still, go Devils!

CMFost said...

Hey Jason just remember what happen last time lou did this. The Devils won the cup.

Mark said...

Sorry to switch back to college hoops but I'm still in shock that Dan mentioned Greg Oden as a candidate for MOP. Seriously? Did you not see the other 5 games where he got into early foul trouble and watched as Conley and his teammates saved his ass?? If anyone on Ohio State deserved the honor it would be Conley.

Go Tribe!

Todd said...

I think Papi would've been the MVP last year if the Sox had made the playoffs. He missed time, and the Sox shit the bed. Hafner I think is a 50 HR, 150 RBI season waiting to happen.

I like the Mets the most out of the NL. And while their rotation isn't what you'd love, I like Pelfrey a lot (especially if he can develop the slider into a serviceable out pitch). His sinker is nasty, and I think he could put up a year similar to a lite version of Verlander, or maybe Wang's rookie campaign. But the Mets still have a decent bullpen, and they could still pull the trigger on a Milledge deal to get more starting help. Also there's that guy named Pedro who could come back for the playoffs.

But the real reason they have to be the favorites out of the NL is their lineup is absolutely stacked. Reyes is quickly becoming the best leadoff hitter in baseball, Beltran is finally looking comfortable in NYC, Delgado is still a force (even if his BA declines), and Wright is a player that basically every team wishes they had. Moises Alou was also one of the better signings of the offseason.

rafael said...

meh, i always thought aluminum bats were for weenies anyways. I hated using one in little league.

Geoff said...

Yeah, A-Rod is so clutch that in the divisional series against Detroit he went like 1 for 14 with no RBIs. That is REAL clutch right there. What a big game performer.

David said...

Best starting five since 1985?? That's not even the best starting five since 2000. You may hate Duke, but the 2001 team rolled out Battier, Boozer, Jason Williams (pre-motorbike), Dunleavy and Duhon. Wouldn't even be close.

Brad said...

Saying that '06-07 Florida is better than '90-91 UNLV based on the fact that the Rebels lost to Duke head-to-head in '91 is ridiculous. '07 Florida lost to Kansas, Florida St. and LSU head-to-head and I KNOW you're not going to say any of those 3 teams is better than Florida.

I hate when people use the transitive property to determine the better team. So, Florida must be the best "post-'85" team because they're better than '91-92 Duke and Duke beat UNLV in '91. Give me a break...

The fact is, you're never going to know who's better because you can never have these teams play each other. The best you can do is to respect the accomplishments of each team, and for Florida to win 2 years in a row (with the same starting five) in the "leave College early" era is VERY impressive.

Also, as a college graduate, what would be even more impressive is for all of the players from the last 2 Championship teams to stay until they graduate to see if they can win any more titles. Green, Brewer, Horford and Noah each have one year left. Why not come back to see if they can make it 3 in a row?

ndyanksfan05 said...

4 out of 166 games he played last season...they wouldn't even be there without him (at Geoff)

Eric Chase said...

God, I would LOVE to see Al Horford in the Sixers frontcourt! He's exactly the kind of bruising inside presence the Sixers need to balance out the finesse of Dalembert. One can dream, right???

DanShanoff.com said...

Before people latch onto Brad's excellent argument, let me concede that my flimsy use of the transitive property (which I normally hate anyway) was ill-advised.

I love the debate that this has inspired. At the very least, to have a team that is in the argument is pretty damn impressive. I still like the matchups favoring Florida if they played head-to-head against UNLV 90/91 or Duke 91/92.

What I'll also say is that it is a hell of a lot harder to repeat in 06/07 than it was to repeat in 91/02. Consider the three overwhelming factors of increased parity (from NBA early-entry and way more competitive recruiting) and increased scrutiny (from all forms of media).

DanShanoff.com said...

I obviously meant "91/92" in the above comment.

verbal97 said...

yanksfan, it's pointless to argue with the anti-Yankees bandwagon here. Their hatred flows through them. It makes them powerful.

Will (Minny via AZ) said...

David, you can't say that they were the best ever, where did they finish up? Elite 8 even? Same five gets 2 rings? That's impressive.

Morneau and Mauer were very impressive yesterday. Gil Meche was great to watch, as was the rolling score on the White Sox game...man I hate them. Johan was mediocre--but won, typical early season outing for him.

AL:
East: Evil Empire
Central: Twinkies (wire to wire!)
West: Angels
WC: Indians

NL:
E: Mets
C: Brew Crew
W: DBacks
WC: Cards

AL Champ: Twinkies
NL Champ: Brew Crew

Twinkies in 7 at the Dome.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Dan - one could also argue that since Florida's players avoided the urge to jump to the NBA and that aforementioned parity has become a part of the college game, they would have an easier time than the 91/92 teams. They were able to retain their entire team while most other teams lost important pieces to the puzzle (see UCLA) therefore creating an easier path to repeat. I am not making a judgement on the team being better than that Duke team or worse, just putting it out there.

Brian in Oxford said...

What the hell is the deal with today's only day game being on the west coast? Am I supposed to WORK all afternoon?

Natsfan74 said...

I am an unabashed Buckeyes fan and acknowledged Florida hater (for recent obvious reasons, and some that date much longer back).

The best thing that the Buckeyes did last night was keep Noah in foul trouble and on the bench, so at least I wouldn't have to see his annoying antics on the court.

But that Gator team is very good. I would not take their 5 against Duke or UNLVs best 5 in a series of 1 on 1 games, but that isn't the basis for comparison of a starting 5. The Florida starting 5 played with team chemistry and a very unselfish style that enabled them to win last night on the perimeter and win in the paint in other tourney games. I hate this Gator team, so it really pains me to say this, but I'm gonna agree with Dan and place them very high on the list of all-time starting 5s and probably #1 in the expanded tourney era. But in 5 games of 1 on 1, the best 5 is clearly UNLV.

DanShanoff.com said...

ndyanksfan05: Another solid point for the Commenters, poking holes in my sketchy logic!

I will now stop trying to make the "Best. Team. Ever." argument and simply push the point that merely being in the "best ever" conversation -- which I don't think anyone would argue they AREN'T -- is pretty damn special.

By the way, I don't see this as conceding my point. "Who is the best team ever?" is simply one of those arguments that can never be solved to some sort of universal satisfaction.

Todd said...

It's hard to say if Florida's repeat is more impressive than Duke's 91/92 campaign. I'd argue that Duke actually faced much tougher competition, as UNLV in '91 was probably better than anyone that Florida faced in either run they had. Also you could argue that in this current culture of so many players leaving early that it actually lowers the level of competition, since the best players don't stay in college to develop their games.

But the bottom line is, both are damned impressive. And it sucks, since I hate Duke and Florida.

And Noah, Horford, Green, and Brewer are all going pro. Brewer really emerged to be a top 10 pick now I think, and given his dad's condition, I think he goes.

CMFost said...

Dan I would put them barely in the Top 10 of all time NCAA teams.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

As far as UT v. Rutgers goes... I don't remember who brought it up, but Rutgers hasn't won a national championship in ANYTHING since sharing the 1949 collegiate fencing title with Army. It's a farce for a university located in a major urban area (and with a student population of 35k+) to suck for so long at so many different sports... and really, no one walks around bragging about the degree from Rutgers.

/end rant

But anyway, I like ridiculously long streaks of futility, so I'll be rooting for the Lady Vols.

Geoff said...

Great players are remembered for what they do once they get to the playoffs. Not for getting there with a completely stacked team and then laying an egg. So yeah, those 4 games in which A-Rod was horrible wipes out anything he did in the regular season. It would have been different if he carried that team on his back the whole season, but he wasn't even their best player last year.

And btw, I am not a Yankee's hater by any means. If anything I hate the Sox much more. But to call A-Rod clutch is like calling this current Florida team the greatest team ever... quite a stretch.

Geoff said...

Dan, you are right. No one can say for sure who is the best team ever. As fans we are definitely jaded towards our personal favorite teams. In my mind no one could have beaten the 88-89 Pistons teams. They were too stacked and played too good of defense and were on a mission that year. Deep down do I really think they are better than like the 86 Celtics? No, probably not... but as a fan I want to think they were pretty close.

Todd said...

Sorry, didn't see NDfan's making the exact same point...

Anyway, back to Yanks/A-Rod, I think the real problem isn't anti-Yankee fans hating A-Rod, it's that there's a very loud mob of fans at Yankees Stadium who are booing him. I'll give a lot of the Yanks fans on here the benefit of the doubt, but Yankees fans booing A-Rod is so undoubtedly stupid. I mean I hate the guy, but it's because he's so freakin' good.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Reds
NL West: Diamondbacks
Wild Card: Braves

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Angels
Wild Care: Red Sox

Phillies over Reds
Dbacks over Braves

Angels over Yanks
Tigers over Red Sox

Tigers over Dbacks

NL MVP: Lance Berkman
AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
NL Cy Young: Randy Johnson
AL Cy Young: Roy Halloday

DanShanoff.com said...

Geoff, you've picked up on this "to what extent have we over-romanticized the teams we grew up with" thing.

"We," in particular, being the sports media that tends to dominate and/or drive the conventional wisdom.

I've been thinking all day about how to mitigate the "nostalgia" factor -- stats? your own lyin' eyes? Or, in the end, everyone simply agrees to disagree.

I will reiterate, however, that there tends to be a backlash against arguing that today's team/event/moment/accomplishment is better than yesterday's, which I directly attribute to this powerful nostalgia factor.

(I'm not sure that the day after the 1991 Regional Final between Duke and Kentucky that everyone was so willing to accept it instantly as "Greatest Game Ever." I'm not even sure it earned that status after Duke won the title two games later. I think it took a little while for nostalgia to set in.)

I'm not saying my penchant for superlatives wasn't over-the-top, but I don't think it can be outright dismissed either. I also don't want to diminish or discount the power of nostalgia in sports fandom. It might very well be the most powerful force out there, given the prominent role of "history" in sports, rather than a primary concentration in experiencing things in the moment.

I'm trying to think of the last significant sports moment that, overnight, created a consensus of "Best Ever" by fans and media. I think it must have been the 2004 ALCS, which I think everyone agreed as soon as Game 7 was over that it was, indeed, the greatest ALCS ever. Maybe there's something since then, but that one immediately came to mind.

verbal97 said...

Come on Dan, the 2004 ALCS wasn't the best ALCS ever, simply because Game 7 wasn't that memorable. It's probably in the discussion because of the 3-0 down aspect, but 2003 was better because it was back and forth with a very memorable Game 7 which cost the losing manager his job. And before the anti-yankee stream hits full force, I would even say that the 1986 ALCS was also better. And if we're going with LCS in general, I'm not sure 2004 ALCS makes the top 5.

CMFost said...

Verbal the 2004 ALCS makes the top 5 even though it did not have a great game 7. It is due to the history that was made during that series which the other series can not say that puts in the top 5. the 03 series definetly had a better game 7 but was the story of the whole series better then in 04. 86 was a different story since the dramatics in that game happen in game 6.

Todd said...

And of course Zimmer getting a beat down from Pedro...

No, sorry, 2004 ALCS was better. No one had ever come back from 3-0, ever.

The problem with '03 was that it wasn't as meaningful since the Yankees had always beaten the Red Sox, and also that the Yankees eventually lost in the World Series. The '03 NLCS was also awesome as well, which is too often forgotten in the Red Sox/Yankees media overhype.

Someone getting better than they were through nostalgia, I see a Mattingly not in the Hall argument redux coming! Watch out!

verbal97 said...

cmfost,

your point on 86 is noted, but that series did cause someone to tragically take their own life. There is a subplot that adds fuel to the 2004 backers, but games 6 and 7 were very blah. I know you'll spout some bloody sock nonsense, but it wasn't a good game. Even if you put it in the top 5, there is absolutely no way that it is unarguably and indisputably the best of all time. I know I've read Dan for a long time, but there is a threshold for making such "best. ever." claims with recent events.

verbal97 said...

Todd,

I would definitely put the 2003 NLCS above the 2004 ALCS and probably the 1986 ALCS. Also, because in 1986 and 2003 there was a great LCS for both leagues, it increases each series' merits in the all-time great LCS debate.

And no, I'm not being nostalgic (and I'm not re-entering a Mattingly debate). I know I'm biased, but I'm trying to look at this as objectively as possible. 2003 overall I think was better. Games 4 and 5 and the 3-0 down angle is the only thing in 2004's favor. Don't get me wrong, 2004 was great, it just wasn't the best or even that close to being the best.

DanShanoff.com said...

I don't necessarily disagree with you all on 2004, but I think the "popular" sentiment would fall for 2004, and you'd have a hard time tilting conventional wisdom in your favor.

verbal97 said...

I disagree that the "popular" sentiment would fall for 2004. Remember, people nationwide used to like the Red Sox story and their fans. There was the loveable loser angle and the intrigue with the curse. But since then, the Red Sox are spending money like the Yankees and people in general are finding Red Sox fans nauseating. I think this change in identity kills the sentiment for the 2004 series being the best.

rstiles said...

The KC win was not that big of deal....it's opening day, the season is new - they had a 50-50 shot at the win....

Show KC some love

Todd said...

It's so true, we Sox fans definitely did overuse any good will that we earned. Sorry about that...

All I know though is that I still get chills running down my spine whenever I remember the game Seven Fox broadcast of the '04 ALCS, when they played "Dream On" by Aerosmith before the game, and showed how the series went, and it was like, "Oh my God, this couldn't actually happen? Or, we're going to lose this, huh?" I hate Fox's baseball coverage with a passion, but that montage was freakin' sweet.

I still think the '04 ALCS was one of the greatest ever, but I'll be the first to admit that the '04 World Series was among the worst ever.

Also, forgotten in the '03 ALCS was that Clemens started game seven, and choked, but was saved by a huge performance by Mussina in the 5th inning. Mariano always gets a lot of the credit, but Mussina really pitched the most critical stretch of that game.

Come on Verbal... you know Mattingly is only as good as Will Clark...

Geoff said...

The main reason I don't think todays teams are as good as yesterdays teams are because the college game has suffered from players leaving early. I applaud what Florida accomplished, as 2 championships in a row in any era in any sport is quite a feat. But I can't ignore the fact that they did it in an era where most good players leave college after a year and many great players never attended college at all.

Is this Florida's fault? No, they won in the era they are in and thus are the most accomplished team of this current era. It is doubtful anyone will repeat in college basketball again for another 10+ years. But the current state of college basketball just makes it really hard for me to call any of the teams from the last 10 years or so 'the best ever' or even include them in the argument.

'Best' arguments are always tricky anyway. I remember when MSU won the tournament a few years back quite a few people would call in to the local sports radio station and say things like, "They are better than the Fab 5!". Which was kind of ridiculous since they never played head to head. They accomplished more than the Fab 5 but who is to say what would have happened if they competed in the same era.

Brian in Oxford said...

2004 was a better story than it was a collection of good baseball games. 5 and 4 were transcendent. 2 and 6 were pretty good. 1 was interesting only late after the Yanks lifted Mussina. 7 and 3 were dogs, really. And when 7's a dog, it puts a damper on the rest of the series and the fact that it even went 7.

Like KC-StL in '85....11-0? blech.

CMFost said...

Verbal did you forget game #4, Dave Roberts steal setting up the game tying hit against Rivera and then the Ortiz's game winning homer in the 12th.

Or in Game #5 Rivera blowing another save leading to another extra inning nail biter with another ortiz game winning hit.

or in Game #6 with the Yankees trying to stay in the game we had the A-rod slap play.

yes, game #3 and game #7 sucked but the other 5 games were pretty good

CMFost said...

Was just looking on wiki and the 1986 ALCS was not as good as people think. Henderson home run to keep the Red Sox Alive happen in game #5 the Red Sox won in blow outs in game 6 and 7, 10 to 4 and 8 to 1.

verbal97 said...

cmfost,

You're right about '86. I was going off memory and I was only 7 at the time. I just remember that the Angels were one out away from the WS. Also forgotten though was the great LCS's between KC and NY, but those were best of 5 and before my time. In my lifetime, in baseball series I've watched (including WS), this is my top 10

1. 2001 WS
2. 1986 WS
3. 1991 WS
4. 2003 ALCS
5. 1997 WS
6. 2002 WS
7. 1993 WS
8. 1992 NLCS
9. 2003 NLCS
10. 1987 WS

Note any glaring omissions? Look the 2004 ALCS was a nice story, but in the end it was anti-climactic. Most of the above series had holy shit moments and interesting ends. I could budge on #10, but would probably give the edge to the 1986 NLCS above the 2004 ALCS

Todd said...

No way you can have '86 World Series as #2 and not include the '04 ALCS. The defining moment of the '86 WS happened in Game Six.

'91 Series might've been #1 in my book. And '93 was right there as well. '01 was good though.

Going older, the '60 World Series, '75 World Series, and '85 NLCS were all deserving mentions as well.

verbal97 said...

todd,

I admit my list is biased toward 1986 because it was the first year I watched baseball, and given the three postseason series that year, I was instantly hooked. I docked '93 because it only went 6 games and because what did you really expect with Mitch Williams. But Joe Carter running around the bases was one of the iconic images of '90s baseball.

Todd said...

Since it's easier to do top defining moments for baseball in the postseason, here's a quick list I've come up with (feel free to scrutinize):

#1: Bill Mazeroski's walk-off HR to win the World Series, (1960)
#2: Kirk Gibson limps off the bench, hits walk-off home run, (1988)
#3: Joe Carter hits first come from behind walk-off HR to win the World Series, (1993)
#4: Don Larsen pitches a perfect game in the WS, (1956)
#5: Jack Morris pitches CG 10-inning shutout, (1991)
#6: Luis Gonzalez's broken bat blooper beats Mariano, Yankees (2001)
#7: Willie Mays' basket catch, (1954)
#8: Carlton Fisk's extra-inning walk-off in WS game six, 1975
#9: Babe Ruth inexplicably caught stealing to end 1924 World Series
#10: Reggie hits his 3rd Home Run in a WS game (1977)

Honorable Mentions: Jeter/Brosius against the D'Backs, Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, Dave Roberts' steal, Jeter's flip to Posada, the Jeff Maier play, Ozzie's walkoff in the '85 NLCS, Pedro's relief against Cleveland, the Bartman play.

CMFost said...

completely off topic but does this story surprise anyone.



Keith Richards say "i snorted my dad"

BGG34 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Todd I would put Puckett's walk off in Game 6 in '91 off of Charlie Leibrandt in the top 10.

If a Babe Ruth moment is going to be in the top 10 it has to be the "Called Shot". Besides Larson and Morris what other pitching performances should be included? I say Gibson's entire '67 World Series should have a spot all its own.

Todd said...

Was trying to isolate individual moments.

Ruth's called shot is somewhat disputed as to whether or not it actually happened and when, right? Getting caught stealing has always just stuck out since it was Ruth trying to steal and that the play ended the World Series. Just a total freak play.

Puckett's homerun could easily be on there as well. And like I said, I came up with this in about 10 minutes, so it's bound to have some holes.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan I also wanted to congratulate you and all the Florida fans on the blog to last night's win. They are now one of only 7 schools to repeat and are in any discussion when it comes to top 10 teams of all time.

I know you are the Instant History king but I agree with you that it is going to take a few years to grasp what Florida has done. When Duke went back to back in 91-92, Arkansas and Kentucky had chances a few years later but could not accomplish what Florida did last night.

Enjoy being a fan of the most dominant athletic program in the country and when I am talking athletics I am talking about basketball and football.

The heroin sheik said...

My list of greatest postseason series /iconic moments are as such in no particular order:

Sid bream rounding third against the pirates. My grandma is on our speakerphone going crazy talking bout how my granddad is in heaven smiling.

The 86 alcs because of my personal connection to mike witt.

The sanfran earthquake series but not for what happened on the field.

The first few braves world series were great even though we didn't win til 97. The twins and blue jays series were really exciting even though I was rooting for the losing team.

I was in scotland for the kirk gibson hr so I never saw it for years.

The giants angels series was pretty good too.

it is odd that football is my favorite sport yet I remember baseball postseason series much more vividly.

chipp said...

When talking about "greatest ever" a requirement should be that it involves the championship. Duke/Kentucky was amazing, but Duke still had 2 more games to play. LCS shouldn't be on the top 10 lists. There is a sense of "win or go home" but if the team loses, they don't have to look the champions in the eye that night. During Championship games, teams see the people they can beat to win it all. Stick to champions or championships when discussing "greatest ever."

Stooncer said...

I can't beleive that I took the time to read these "Best.Ever." arguments. This is such a subjective topic and nobody on this board is unbiased enough to make an accurate call. Plain and simple: Florida joins a list of teams that have repeated as champion and can be considered a great team. There is just no way to quantify them as the "Best.Ever." And then to bring the Yankees and the Sox back into the equation...UGH!

What a pointless pissing contest.

Now, getting down to business, here's my MLB preview:

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL WC: Indians

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cards
NL West: Dodgers
NL WC: Phillies

AL DS: Tigers over Yanks, Angels over Indians

NL DS: Mets over Phillies, Dodgers over Cards

LCS: Dodgers over Mets, Angels over Tigers

World Series: Angels over Dodgers. Freeway Series, baby!

Brian in Oxford said...

why should the Duke-Kentucky game be discounted just because they were in the same regional?

That's like saying no Cubs game since 1945 even qualifies as one of the best ever? How about 23-22 on a windy 1979 day? :)

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Sim some games on whatifsports.com It is a fun way to pass some time. I simmed between this year's Gators vs. '92 Duke and Duke won about 70% of the time.

DrDoom said...

the greatest game ever was colts bears this year.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Chipp does that mean that the BC v. Miami game in 1984 does not count as a great game because it was not in a major bowl? What about this year's Fiesta Bowl should that not be considered one of the greatest games ever because it was just in the Fiesta Bowl and not in the title game.

rafael said...

whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa!!!

the FRIGGIN' BEARS turned down the Redskin offer to switch picks for lance briggs?!

....

dumbasses

rafael said...

I love revscottt for his unabashed and ridiculous bias to Cincinnati area teams.

Of course...am I...I can totally see the Reds taking the Central.

rafael said...

btw, like many, I hate the Red Sox NOW.
but in 2004..they were beloved..they had done the impossible..and that ALCS was the best ever.
But 'best ever's have to stand the test of time. I think it is hitting the inevitable low that follows an unbelievable high.
In 10 years, that 2004 series will likely, again, be the top choice of people.

Mike said...

Sports-Lesson One: Any time you gather three or more different sports fans with different rooting interests together, the probability of them being able to agree on any proposition is less than the probability of being struck by lightning.

Andy said...

"1st" Andy: I've been here since at least October, so...

"2nd" Andy said...

Nevertheless, there you go. Hopefully my name change clears up the confusion.

Kevin said...

Right...UNLV couldn't possibly be the best team of the era, because they couldn't win the tournament twice in a row. Because, obviously, there is no luck involved in the NCAA tournament - things such as getting an easy road in the bracket, facing an opponent who's just having a bad day or getting the whistle on the questionable calls and someone else getting in foul trouble. The tourney is obviously the best way to determine who the *best* team was.

And, in related news, the St. Louis Cardinals were easily the *best* team in baseball last year. Go look it up! They won the World Series, so they must have been the best!

Just remember that there is a lot of luck involved in the tournament. If UConn hits one more shot last year against George Mason, Florida probably doesn't win the title last year. And I think they avoided the two teams that would have given them the most trouble in the tourney this year (Kansas, UNC).

Brian in Oxford said...

Denham Brown, where are you now?!!!

jp / john paul / paul said...

if there ever was best.ever. argument... maybe this floirda team was the best since 95.... (since kg applied for the nba draft that started the HS influx until the new draft rules)

different era had different rules...

ex. how would the ucla circa 60s and 70s fare against the gators?

mlb preview:

al east yanks
al central twins
al west angels
al wc tigers

nl east mets
nl central reds
nl west dodgers
nl wc brewers

al champs angels
nl champs mets

angels over mets (this is the anti-yankees-dodgers thing)