Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday 06/16 A.M. Quickie:
Sosa, Phil, Reyes, Injury, NBA Closure, More.

Sosa: 599! You know what? I still find it hard to dislike Sosa, and I think a lot of people agree with me (in a way they can't feel about Bonds).

Perhaps Sosa hitting 600 doesn't offend people's sensibilities as much as Bonds breaking the cherished ALL-TIME home run record, but consider the company that milestone puts Sosa in.

How many "600 Club" players will you get to see in your lifetime? How many current players may end up there? (Ken Griffey? A-Rod? Manny? Pujols? Ryan Howard? Prince Fielder?) It's still a pretty exclusive club and unique thing.

US Open: Angel Cabrera's birdie on 18 KO'ed the limp-wristed Phil Mickelson from the Open, the first Major cut Phil has missed since 1999. Not a single player is under par (which, as I've been saying all week, is the most overrated claim in sports).

NBA Closure, Cont'd. It's official: Game 4 was the least-watched single NBA Finals game in history. As if that wasn't the ultimate low, this was the least-watched NBA Finals in NBA history. The biggest storyline of these Finals -- these playoffs -- was that no one was watching. Is there a fix for that?

Re-seeding the NBA playoffs is an interesting idea – as you'd expect, I'm of the school that if you're going to do it, don't do a minor fix, change things radically, like the plan where you re-seed all 16 playoff teams in one batch.

But I actually think that plan isn't radical enough: I would split the difference between the current 7-game series formats and the one-and-done format of the NCAA Tournament: Best-of-3 in every round. (But that ignores that money drives the 7-game format, not the interest in seeing the best team emerge.)

Here's the rub: It won't help. Oh, sure, the NBA might be able to improve upon this year's stinkeroo ratings. Cripes: How can they NOT? (Well: Imagine if it was Spurs-Pistons...)

But the TV ratings really have little to do with the teams involved in the Finals. It could have been Mavericks-Heat – or Lakers-Heat – or any other matchup you can think of. It wouldn't have helped substantially.

This is simply the new reality of TV for the "niche" sports... which now most conclusively includes the NBA.

NFL: The greatest "play-it-straight" newspaper lead you'll ever see, courtesy of Howard Bryant of the Washington Post:

"Washington Redskins rookie safety LaRon Landry will miss the team's three-day minicamp because of a groin injury suffered during a team paintball contest this week."

More NFL: The Lane Kiffin Era is off to a rocky start in Oakland. They ended their offseason training a week early after the NFL union complained about the intensity of the practices.

MLB Stud: I'm going with Roger Clemens versus Julio Franco in the second inning of last night's Mets-Yankees game, which was the oldest batter-pitcher matchup in 70 years. Awesome.

(But Mets SP Oliver Perez was the real star of the game, beating Clemens, thanks to co-Stud Jose Reyes, who had a HR, 2 RBI, 3 steals and went 3-3, which is like the most all-around productive fantasy night of the year.)

NBA Trade: I'll bet Pistons exile Carlos Delfino thrives in the Raptors' internationally flavored system.

Finally, Duke Karma Watch: DA Mike Nifong says he will resign. Think back 15 months ago. Who saw THAT coming?

-- D.S.

13 comments:

Roge said...

Are you serious? Prince Fielder hitting 600 home runs? That's just a completely ridiculous prediction.

Geoff said...

Eh, who cares what the ratings in the finals were. The ratings were probably just fine in Cleveland and San Antonio. If the rest of the nation doesn't want to watch teams they have no emotional involvement in, well that is just the way it is.

Dan Mega said...

I can see maybe Ryan Howard getting 600, but Fielder? Nah.

Biggs said...

Roger Clemens versus Julio Franco

So, what's the combined age on that matchup?

Travis said...

The real MLB studs were JD Drew (3-4, 3 RBI)and Dustin Pedroia (5-5, 5RBI) batting 1-2 for Boston.

The rest of the lineup went 1-24 and Boston hammered San Francisco 10-2.

Pedroia who batted .182 in April came on in May with a .415 average and is hitting .391 in June and is probably the front runner for the AL ROY.

Big D said...

Couple thoughts:

Spurs/Pistons would have probably had higher ratings - even though LeBron has more marketing appeal, Detroit as a city has a larger population (duh) and probably more fans nationwide.

As for 600+ guys... JR's a given - he's close already. So are A-Rod and probably Manny. Pujols will get there as long as he stay's healthy, but Ryan Howard has only had 1 massive season where he put up numbers that make people take notice. Let's see him do it a couple more times. Prince Fielder? Uh, no.

And finally, watching the Sox/Giants today, Tim McCarver spent a solid five minutes talking about the Delaware River mud used to scuff up the baseballs. As bad as that might sound just on it's own, I knew it sounded vaguely familiar to another McCarver rant... turns out he's done this before - during possibly the best Regular Season MLB Game of the past 10 years: July 24, 2004.

Nelvis said...

The playoff format just needs to be tweaked, reseeding after every round in each conference.

If the NBA really wants to help their cause get rid of the dumb trade percentage crap and make it easier to get rid of crappy players with huge contracts (call it the Darius Miles rule).

Darius Miles Rule:
If you get rid of a player with 4 years or more on his contract you have to pay 50% of the contract and that will be on your cap.

2-3 years: 25% of the contract

1 or less: nothing.

CycleDan said...

Nifong disbarred as he should be. People like him hurt the entire judicial system.

Yanks pulled it out. I missed the end of the game but back to 4 games behind in the WC pending the outcome of the Detroit game.

Joey said...

I don't think people realize that Ryan Howard is as old as he is. He is a very good player, but it has taken him awhile to make it. Go ahead and look it up.

I could see maybe putting Fielder down with the way this year is going with as young as he is, but it is still too early. I was just thinking today about how everything thought Jose Cruz Jr was going to be a stud when he first came up with Seattle.

jhawkjjm said...

A team that went 2-14 complains that the offseason workouts are too tough?!?! I'ld cut all the babies that complained and get some people who want to compete and care about winning.

James said...

Yeah, Howard is actually two months older than Pujols (if you believe Dominican birth dates).

Jingoist said...

Better yet, Nifong is being disbarred. Talk about a karmic boomarang.

Will (Minny via AZ) said...

They had a tournament in the NBA this year? I thought that Shaq and DWade called it off? Oh well, sounds like I didn't miss anything...

Man I do love the College World Series though...anyone been?