Blake Makes Me Want to Believe

The NBA has been dead to me for a few years, basically since the Sonics left.  Now I won’t get into the whole Sonicsgate issue, that’s been well chronicled for many to read and form their own opinions on.  I think it is pretty straight forward that the Sonics were robbed, but (here I go again) – that’s not the point of this post.

The fact of the matter is, one of the “major” sports in the United States, and arguably, the world – doesn’t mean anything to many here in the Pacific Northwest.  Highlights on SportsCenter just make me want to change the channel, and I really don’t care if the Blazers win or lose now that B-Roy is out of the game at too young of an age.

Blake Griffin has been up to the above since he joined the league and this highlight could be enough to bring fans back in droves.  Hope that a franchise, that run by one of the more vile human beings in the league is winning in spite of him.  They picked up Chris Paul.  There is a good,  young core in Los Angeles (and it isn’t the Lakers!!!1).  They are on ESPN and are fairly exciting to watch.

Will Blake with a cape be enough to save a league that has been down on it’s proverbial luck lately?  Lockouts, David Stern, terrible owners – there are many reasons to not watch, but like Jordan and the crop of talent that lifted the NBA to heights of popularity in the 80′s and 90′s might just be back.

How Pineda Really Felt

Ouch.  Well I guess it was only a matter of time, right?  I am glad the M’s went ahead and gave him that chance to have that glorious opportunity so early in his career.  At least the Mariners got something back for him.  Start dropping bombs, Jesus.

Twitter from NY report on Michael Pineda

I see. Well enjoy NYC!

Will Ro-Motion Push the Huskies Any Further?

I received this from my friend Ken, who forwarded it to me asking if this is something that we would host up on the blog.  I think this is a very informative and well thought out piece by David Ko about the coaching abilities of Lorenzo Romar.  I will warn, it’s a little longer than a typical post, so I put it into a PDF and hosted a download link here.  Below the link is the introduction that David wrote that was attached to his original email.  Enjoy.

Ro-Motion by David Ko

“You are receiving this email because I know you either care about UW athletics or are a fan of college basketball. While not as timely as I had originally hoped (the idea for this essay was originally conceived following UW’s embarrasing loss to South Dakota St. before Christmas), and though there are arguably more important concerns in Husky nation following UW’s defensive debacle in the Alamo and the subsequent firing of Holt and hiring of Wilcox, attached are some words on how I feel about Lorenzo Romar.
Most of you know that I am a passionate sports fan, and an even more passionate Husky fan. So these words should be not be construed in a manner that would question my loyalties. But I do think it’s time we take the conversation about Romar to the next level – he is a good coach, but is he a great coach? Are we happy with the fact he will be at UW through 2020?
I certainly won’t be upset if you don’t read this in full (warning, it’s really long), and in fact likely wouldn’t be upset if you don’t even read it all. But if you truly do care about UW and/or college basketball, you may find this piece interesting. You may also think I’m crazy and have way too much free time. Regardless, I care enough about UW to write more than a comment on a blog, or circulate a few random thoughts in an email, so here it is.
I’ll also preempt the question/comment I may get from some of you – no I am not going to start a blog.
Special thanks to my buddies Jeff Young, who as a non-UW’er and english major, provided a much needed objective and grammatically correct eye towards this essay, and Dave Cohen, who as a former Division I basketball player, provided the requisite basketball knowledge to ensure I wasn’t talking pure nonsense.
Enjoy. And feel free to forward to anyone who you think would care.” – David Ko

Cundiff Should Kick a 32-yarder into Strahan’s Goalposts

How many plays in Michael Strahan’s career did he have a direct influence on the final score of a game?

Michael Strahan smiles after winning the Super Bowl

"Ask me how many points I scored in this victory!!!" - Strahan

In looking over his career stats, courtesy of our friends at (not really our friends, I don’t know the guys who run this but it seems like the chappy way to introduce their hard work into the blog here), Strahan has scored a total of 20 points in his whole career.  Three touchdowns and one safety.  Now these were not just regular TD’s scored by Strahan. Two of them gave the Giants the lead. One was against my beloved Seahawks.  I already forgot about it though, considering it was Christmas Eve-Eve and face it – 2001 really was a long time ago.

One of these scores even won a game for New York, in OT.

So after a few minutes of looking at Cundiff’s stats, I was rather impressed at his body of work in terms of directly influcing the outcome of a game in comparison to Strahan.

Cundiff has scored 596 total points with 132 field goals successfully kicked, and 200 extra points converted.  Through 2010, 38 of these field goals gave his team the lead, and 8 of them tied the game up.

So when I read on Deadspin that after his extremely unfortunate shank to tie the game up against New England this past weekend, Strahan called for his job.  ”I’d say, ‘If you’re back here next year, we got a problem,’ “ Strahan said.

76% of the time Cundiff steps up to the plate, he scores for his team.  If I could find the statistical analysis of played downs by Strahan and how many points he scored, or to make it fair, every time he sacked a QB or dropped a runner for a loss (NOT plays that DIRECTLY influence the score of the game), something tells me that Mr. Subway isn’t hitting at a 76% success rate.  Hell, I would even throw just any tackle into that mix, and he isn’t anywhere near 76%.

So Strahan – you were a really good defensive lineman. Some would argue that you were one of best.  But man, you must have been a crappy teammate.   I hope others had a problem with you in the locker room by letting you know that the 76% sack rate on plays from scrimmage wasn’t being met, and you were a failure.

Congrats on the game Billy, apparently it was just you that lost the game.  Not Lee Evans, or anyone else.  Just you bud.

Taking a Pass on the Prince

Prince Fielder untucks his Brewers Jersey

Trust me, he is not ripping this off in exchange for a Mariners jersey.

It really isn’t a secret that the Seattle Mariners need someone in the middle of the lineup that can pound out hits, or even better, out of the yard.  The offense, to put in nicely, has been completely anemic these last two years.  While the pitching has been great (and the M’s gave some of that up for another potential hitter last week), the Mariners can’t win baseball games when they can’t score at all.

You can fear Brendan Ryan’s handlebars, but his bat isn’t one that strikes fear in opposing pitchers.  I think an argument can be made that there wasn’t a single hitter in the lineup last year that made someone like C.J. Wilson shake in his boots.  I would even go as far to say that Rick Ankiel, Cardinals circa 2001 could have handled this lineup.

The reason Ankiel would go 1-2-3 on the M’s roster is because the players that did have “power” had completely horrible plate discipline.  Olivo might be able to drive the ball out of the yard, but his problem is that he would give a bouncing ball a hearty cut to pull to left, or one that was thrown directly at him.  Smart pitchers used his aggression against him as they would throw eephus pitches that were destined for the batters box for left-handed hitters.

Most would think that signing Prince Fielder here in Seattle would solve the power issue.  A legitimate, middle order bat that can put them off the Hit-It-Here Cafe I am sure with regularity.  However, there are a few problems with this in my opinion.  I am not going to go all stats on you, as you can get much better insight on USS Mariner or Lookout Landing for the full statistical rundown.  These are my scars as a fan.

  • Remember the last big National League sluggers that the Mariners signed?  I do!  Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre.  Sexson’s first year was the best, and then became a progressive train wreck after that.  Adrian, while a great defensive third baseman (and worth the cash when you break out his defensive value along with the stick) – he was signed to be a slugger.  He was never a slugger here.  He needed a few more degrees cranked up on the heater as he showed in Texas to start launching balls out of the yard.
  • Seattle now has two 1B/DH types.  Now granted, none of them have the pedigree of a Prince – but if he was to come here, he has no positional flexibility.  He will either be on 1B (where he isn’t brutal, but he isn’t great) or DH.  This either puts Smoak in the DH/1B platoon and forces Montero behind the plate.  Montero according to the world isn’t a good catcher.   Montero, at this time is also penciling in for the same place as a 1B/DH.  Unless there are more moves in the queue (which you never know with Jack Z) – I doubt he moves the centerpiece of the Lee trade (Smoak) after one year.  Smoak’s trade value is shot.  He is only valuable here now.
  • I believe that teams will simply pitch around Prince in this current lineup as it is constructed.  Explain to me why you would pitch anything remotely near the plate to him when you get to face anyone else in the M’s lineup after him?  The Mariners need to bring in a few more hitters to actually build a lineup.  I don’t think you can do that with a guy who can hit them to the moon surrounded by guys who can only hit them back to the pitcher.
  • Has anyone actually asked Prince if he would even want to sign here?  Why would one of the games most prolific hitters come to a place where notoriously hitters come to die?  I don’t care how short the porch in right is – there is something about the Mariners uniforms that suck the power out of their own players.  Perhaps it is the home whites?  I suggest that the M’s switch to their road greys for home games.
  • He is in the prime of his career.  He wants to hit dingers.  Not launch less home runs in this corner of the country where nobody sees him.  He can do that in Milwaukee.

Would I be happy if he did become a member of the Mariners?  Of course.  Is it realistic?  No.


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