JumpBall

March 18, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Filed under: Ramblings — siddhant2001us @ 1:42 AM
  • The World Baseball Classic is going to be a huge success. First, there was the Netherlands beating powerhouse Dominican Republic not once but twice. Then, came today’s Team USA’s ninth inning rally to beat formidable opponent Puerto Rico. Last Sunday, my friends and I even went to Petco Park to watch Japan play Cuba. To be honest, it wasn’t that far away from being as full capacity-wise to a regular Padres game—although that may say more about the Padres fans than anything else. Still, the fans are smart and passionate. With some exciting games already getting press, it is only a matter of time before this thing catches fire. That’s especially true now that baseball is no longer an Olympic sport.
  • So what chance does Team USA have of winning? Honestly, it is a complete toss up at this point of the tournament. The sample size of games remaining and completed are too small which generally means that whatever team strikes fire is the one to win rather than the most talented or consistent team. Pedroia being out actually is a blessing in disguise because he stunk up the joint whenever he had to bat. I say Japan is the favorite right now, followed by America, and then South Korea. I know that Japan lost to Korea tonight and has to beat Cuba just to be in the semifinals, but I do think it will happen. Plus, I expect Japan to destroy Korea in a rematch. There were a lot of fluky things going on tonight.
  • Speaking of Japan, they are simply dominant right now. Yes, their hitting is more than solid, but their main for this is pitching. I got to see Dice-K live and, let me tell you, he looked great. He was great at getting out of jams and actually got better as the game went along. He does allow too many people on base, but at the end of the day his whip is never as high as you think it should be, and his era is much better than you can ask for. He’s going to sell a lot of tickets whenever he plays.
  • Last baseball point: Manny Ramirez tomorrow is going to try out playing cricket for a promotional event. He’s doing this right after
  • March Madness is upon us again! I am effectively done trying to accurately predict what is going to happen there. I did fill out a bracket, but I did so basically using zero logic and just going primarily on seeds and familiar names. That’s because if I used logic and experience I would end up losing anyway to someone who…used zero logic and went based on gut feelings. March Madness: turning idiots into geniuses and geniuses into pig farmers since 1862.
  • Ok, in all seriousness, I have Oklahoma winning it all the last time I fiddled with my bracket. The only reason is because Blake Griffin is the number one pick for sure in the NBA draft and that’s good enough reasoning for me.
  • Moving to football, I sincerely hope that Marshawn Lynch gets past his current off the field issues right now. Lynch plays behind a mediocre line which hurts his stats, but the kid can just flat out play football. He has a fair amount of quickness that gets defenders to miss, but more importantly is that he consistently moves the chains. You cannot tackle Marshawn Lynch with just one defender very often. I still remember a play early in his rookie season where he knocks down one defender, dodges another, knocks down one more, gets his helmet knocked off, and then gets the first down. I want that guy on my football team.
  • By the way, Lynch is in trouble for having a concealed weapon in the trunk of his car. First of all, it isn’t clearly written why the police searched his car in the first place. I think there may in fact be tinges of racism involved, but I wasn’t there and I do not know, so who knows, really. The second point I would like to make is that pro athletes in the last five years have been getting robbed or shot at an alarmingly high rate. Listen, I would prefer that everyone was peaceful and the world was only a happy place, but that’s just not realistic. Lynch lives in a world where his peers are being targeted. With that in mind, is it completely crazy for him to have a weapon? I understand he should get his paper work in order, but my point is that as long as he does get that paper work in order, he should not receive a suspension at all. Just yesterday, Carl Landry of the Houston Rockets was shot after getting out of his car while trying to figure out what happened after an accident. It could be a random incident, but if you are Marshawn Lynch doesn’t that worry you all the same? Listen, I understand that generally having a gun in that situation probably just makes it worse, so I am in no way condoning Lynch for having the gun, but at the same time, I can kind of understand.
  • There is a lot of talk about the collective bargaining agreement in the NBA which must be extended by the league by December 15, 2010. If it is extended, then the NBA is good through the 2011-2012 season. The question becomes what will the league, which in this economy has all the power, try to pull on the players? My guess is that David Stern will try to lower the length of contracts to 5 years max for resigning your own players and 4 years for other team’s free agents. He may even try for 4 and 3. The league will want to do this because it helps bail out teams whenever they get fooled signing a free agent who doesn’t pan out because at least then he’s only on the team for around 4 years before they can get rid of his salary. Plus, the shorter the length of the contract, the smaller the chance there is for a player to not try. Clearly, the players would be better off with that not happening, because if it does then they lose that extra financial security. Their best chance for success in arguing against lowering contract length would be that one, it already was lowered to its present levels of 6 and 5, and second, that the more players there are during free agency, the less continuity there is for rosters. The lack of continuity is going to lower the level of play, which is a fair reason for arguing against the lowering of the lengths of contracts.
  • The second thing the league will try to pull is increasing the age limit once again. At this point they will probably aim for getting it to 20. I think that this is something that is good for the NBA, as it will improve the overall quality of play. I do think however, that the restriction should be scrapped once the NBA has a truer minor league system (ie, 30 minor league teams for the 30 NBA ones.) By then if you do draft someone who isn’t ready, you can send him down to your minor league affiliate. Technically, you can do that now, but because NBA teams currently share a D-league team with one or two other NBA teams, sending down a player is risky, because you have such little control over him at that point. Once you have your own team, you can choose the system that you want in place, and can effectively grow your own players in your farm system. At the very least, if you do draft a player that is too young for the NBA, you can just have him play for your minor league team and have him rack up a cult following much like he could do in college, except now he’ll get paid. For those who have not figured it out, I cannot wait for a true minor league system to come into place.
  • That’s all for now folks. Good luck for March Madness!   
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1 Comment »

  1. Interesting blog, I’ll try and spread the word.

    Comment by wonker — March 18, 2009 @ 8:33 PM


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