Wednesday, September 14, 2011

09/14 (Mid-Week) Quickie

Today's Name to Know: Glen Rice, apparently.

Mariano Rivera: 600 saves. You can dismiss saves as a statistic and closers as a category, but it's hard to ignore that Rivera is the greatest at his job in the history of baseball.

Tim Wakefield: 200 wins. I'm a little obsessed with the "200 is the new 300" idea -- that no pitcher will ever reach 300 wins... and it's possible no pitcher will ever reach 250.

Roy Halladay is at 186. He'd need 3-4 more seasons at 15-20 wins each. Doable. Ditto for CC Sabathia, who is at 176. If you think Justin Verlander can win 20 games a year for the next 8 years (or 15 a year for the next 10), he might.

In fact, when you look at the list, aside from that handful of pitchers above, no one reasonable is even close... to reaching 200. In 10 years, the 200-win milestone will be much more impressive.

Speaking of Verlander: That's 23 wins. If you enjoy a "We'll never see a [...] again" fetish, the "We'll never see a 25-game winner again" milestone might be going down in two weeks.

NBA Lockout: We're so far from critical deadlines that shrieking yesterday that we might lose the season is absurdly premature. Talk to me in late October.

Meanwhile, avid NBA fans and pundits don't want to acknowledge this, but if the season didn't start until January, TV ratings and fan interest would go... up. Way up. In fact, as long as the Heat are in the Finals, ratings for the championship series will go up, too, no matter when the season starts.

It's a much bigger problem for the NBA if it's Grizzlies-Magic in the NBA Finals than if the season tips in '12.

-- D.S.

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