January 27, 2004
National League West Hitters
Last week, I started providing a team-by-team look at many of the major league players from a fantasy baseball perspective. Today is the final day of analyzing hitters. Tomorrow, I will begin discussing pitchers.
I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. First, I love fantasy baseball and love discussing what I think of certain players. Second, I know that many people who take the time to read baseball sites like this one participate in fantasy baseball leagues as well.
However, I do understand not everyone gets into fantasy sports, and that’s OK too. I do not think that my “analysis” will be too “statty” so it should be enjoyable for any baseball fan to read.
I know it is a little bit early to be talking about fantasy baseball, but I know that many keeper leagues have to turn in their ‘keepers’ this month. Also, aside from Ivan Rodriguez and Greg Maddux, most of the free agents still available will be bit players and may or may not affect some of the comments below. However, there could still be some trades which could alter some of these opinions. For instance, if Jacque Jones is traded, that would greatly change the value of Michael Cuddyer. It could also affect how Jacque Jones would be valued.
Another point to mention before getting started is that there are many forms of fantasy baseball. There are the traditional rotisserie leagues, 5x5 leagues, head-to-head, simulation, keeper leagues, American League Only, National League only and many more. Most leagues probably vary in subtle ways. I am not going to try to analyze for any specific variety. I will just give my opinions on the players. When I project a round-range where the player could be drafted, it will be based on a 30 round major league draft.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.
Disclaimer: What you read below are simply my opinions. Obviously I have no knowledge of what will happen in the 2004 season, so please take the information for what it is worth (fun). Also, these opinions are subject to change as spring training approaches. All players listed are either projected starters, or starters based on my opinion. I will try to project where each player could be drafted, assuming a 30 round draft.
Here is the schedule for this project:
Tuesday - Part 1 - American League Central Hitters
Wednesday - Part 2 - American League East Hitters
Thursday - Part 3 - American League West Hitters
Friday - Part 4 - National League Central Hitters
Monday - Part 5 - National League East Hitters
Tuesday - Part 6 - National League West Hitters
Wednesday - Part 7 - American League Pitchers
Thursday - Part 8 - National League Pitchers
Friday - Part 9 - Rookies and Prospects
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST HITTERS
The National League West Division is another division with teams at various stages. The Giants have been in the playoffs the last couple of years. The Diamondbacks are in a transition to a new core group while still trying to remain competitive. The Dodgers seem to be disoriented. The Rockies have been bad, but have a few great players. The Padres lost 100 games last year, but I see them as a much improved team, with a potent offense. So, let’s get going on some analysis. If you have any comments, arguments, agreements, questions or anything, please feel free to e-mail me. When this project is complete, I would like to put together a Mailbag issue with many of those comments.
C – Robby Hammock/ Brent Mayne
Hammock split time with Chad Moeller at the catcher position for the Diamondbacks. In 65 games and 195 at bats, Hammock hit 10 doubles, 8 homers and 28 RBI. I think he could thrive given more consistent playing time. I think he will be splitting time with 35 year old Brent Mayne. Last year, Mayne hit .245 with 6 homers and 36 RBI. He is a career .265. I would hope that Hammock gets the majority of the at bats. If that is the case, he would be worth a 26th round pick. But for now, I wouldn’t draft either.
1B – Richie Sexson
The Diamondbacks got Sexson from the Brewers for a half-team of players this winter. In 2003, Sexson hit .272 with 45 homers and 125 RBI. He should fit in nicely behind Luis Gonzalex in the lineup. A consistent .273 lifetime hitter, Sexson is clearly a power hitter. He hit 45 homers in 2001 and 2003. He is an RBI machine. He isn’t the all-around player to be drafted higher than the 7th round.
2B – Roberto Alomar
Roberto Alomar is likely bound for Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, he has not played like one since leaving the Cleveland Indians following the 2001 season. That year, he hit .336 with 20 homers and 100 RBI (with 30 SB). He was traded to the Mets and in 2002 hit .266 with 11 homers and 53 RBI (with 16 SB). The assumption was that he just needed to adjust to the National League. 2003 wasn’t better and mid-season, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. His combined numbers last year? He hit .258 with 5 homers and 39 RBI (12 SB). So, is Alomar done at age 35? The D-Backs hope not, and he will play every day for them. That alone makes him draftable. I think he has some left, so don’t be afraid to take him, but wait until at least Round 22!
3B – Shea Hillenbrand
Stat-heads love bashing Hillenbrand because he refuses to take a walk. In his 3 year career, he has amassed a total of 62 walks. However, he does provide a lot offensively. Last year, he hit .280 with 20 homers and 97 RBI, splitting the season between Boston and Phoenix. In his two full seasons, he has averaged 19 home runs and 90 RBI. I would expect similar numbers in 2004. And again, 3B is a weak position, so he could be worth a roster spot. Draft him after Round 14.
SS – Alex Cintron
Alex Cintron got his first shot a full-time play with the D-Backs and certainly took advantage of it. In 117 games, Cintron hit .317 with 26 doubles, 13 homers and 51 RBI. He will start the season as the team’s regular shortstop. He is just 25 and should continue to improve. I would project maybe a .290 with 20 homers and 75 RBI. That warrants a 19th round pick. He could be a sleeper.
LF – Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez had a rough 2002 (for him, he still hit .288 with 28 homers and 103 RBI). He came back in 2003 hitting .304 with 26 homers and 104 RBI. His home run totals have been very consistent in his five Diamondback years. They are: 26, 31, 57, 28 and 26. His RBI totals are: 111, 114, 142, 103 and 104. So, that 2001 season may have been a fluke, but it doesn’t take away from how good he has been in the other seasons. Expect a similar .300/30/100 season from Gonzalez which makes the 36 year old a good 5th round pick, especially considering some of the hitters around him.
CF – Steve Finley
A lot of people thought Finley’s career was dwindling when he hit just 14 homers in 2001 (after hitting 34 and 35 the previous two seasons, respectively). The last two seasons, the 38 year old Finley has been very consistent. In 2002, he hit .287 with 24 doubles, 24 homers and 89 RBI, with 16 stolen bases. In 2003, he hit .287 with 24 doubles, 22 homers and 70 RBI, with 15 steals. Can Finley defy age and have another strong season. If he remains at this same level, he is worth a 19th round pick.
RF – Danny Bautista
Danny Bautista has played in 11 major league seasons. He got a big contract from the Diamondbacks after the 2001 season because he played great when the Diamondbacks won the World Series. In the last two seasons, he has played in a combined 128 games because of injury. In those two seasons, he has hit a combined .292 with 10 homers and 59 RBI. We know he can hit when he plays, but can he stay healthy. There are a lot of outfielders. Try not to draft Bautista, but if you get him in the last round, it may be worth it.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Sexson and Gonzalez.
The Bad – The catcher situation and Alomar.
The Questions – Can Alomar turn his career around? Who will be the primary catcher? Will Cintron take a step toward stardom?
C – Charles Johnson
Johnson’s redeeming quality at this point in his career is that he catches for the Rockies. Despite a .230 batting average, Johnson did hit 20 homers and drive in 61. Johnson is still just 32 years old and was healthy most of last year. So, he could duplicate those numbers again. If that is the case, he could be a 21st round draft pick.
1B – Todd Helton
In 2003, Helton hit .358 with 49 doubles, 33 homers and 117 RBI. He walked 111 times while striking out 72 times. Yes, he plays in Coors Field (which should increase his value), but he can flat-out hit. Over the last five seasons, Helton has averaged hitting .341 and 48 doubles, 38 homers and 126 RBI. In other words, he’s right at the top of the 1B list. Take him in the middle of the first round.
2B – Aaron Miles
Aaron Miles comes to the Rockies from the White Sox. In 12 at bats with the Sox last year, Miles hit .333 with 3 doubles. His last two seasons in the minor leagues, Miles has hit over .300. He has shown minimal power. He can steal a few bases. He is primarily a doubles hitter though, not that that is a bad thing. He is known as being ‘hard-nosed,’ so that can be good. Coors Field could help him. I’d consider drafting Miles in the 16th round. He’s got Marcus Giles written all over him.
3B – Vinny Castilla
Vinny had a solid comeback year for the Braves in 2003. The year before, he had hit just .232 with 12 homers and 61 RBI. In 2003, he hit .277 with 22 homers and 76 RBI. I’m not saying these are great numbers. However, factor in that he is returning to Coors Field where he built his career, it is a positive step in the right direction. Consider taking him around Round 17.
SS – Clint Barmes/Royce Clayton
Barmes made his major league debut in 2003, getting 25 at bats. He hit .320 with a couple of doubles. Clayton has been around a long time. Last year, he hit .228, but did have 11 homers and 39 RBI. He is a veteran, having played for five organizations in his first 13 big league seasons. His career average is just .255. I don’t know what is going to happen here. I would almost think that the Rockies would like Barmes to have a huge spring and win the job. Watch the situation this spring and maybe draft the winner in one of the last rounds.
LF – Jeromy Burnitz
Burnitz is one of the players that should be really interesting to watch this year. He has always hit for power (except in 2002). Bringing that power to Denver should mean a minimum of 30 home runs. In 2003, between the Mets and Dodgers, Burnitz hit .239 with 31 homers and 77 RBI. I would think that you could expect Burnitz to hit about .250 with about 35 homers and 90 RBI in 2004. If so, consider drafting him in the 11th round.
CF – Preston Wilson
Preston Wilson came into his own in 2003, his first in Colorado. Of course, his power numbers jumped, but so did his batting average. In 2003, he hit .282 with 36 home runs and 141 RBI. Sitting between Helton and Larry Walker can certainly help him see better pitches. Expect much of the same from Preston in 2004. I’d draft him by about Round 6.
RF – Larry Walker
Injuries really took the best from Larry Walker in recent years. He actually played through many of them in 2003, but the results were pretty clear. He has played in 150 games (153 in 1997) just once in his 15 big league seasons. Look at his numbers drop over the last three seasons. Batting average (.350, .338, .284), Home Runs (38, 26, 16), RBI (123, 104, 79). You hate to admit it because Walker has been so incredible. His career average of .314 was aided by these averages from 1997-1999 (.366, .363, .379). It is time to admit that Walker is done. He may play 140 games, and I for one hope he does. But don’t expect it. His injury risk is too high to take before Round 14.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Helton, Wilson.
The Bad – The middle infield.
Question Marks – How will the middle infield play out? Does Walker have anything left? Will Coors Field help Jeromy Burnitz?
Los Angeles Dodgers
C – Paul Lo Duca
In 125 games in 2001, Lo Duca hit .320 with 25 home runs and 90 RBI. He played in 149 games in 2002 and hit .281 with 10 homers and 64 RBI. Last year in 147 games, his average fell off to .273 with 7 homers and 52 RBI. In other words, it is hard to know what you will get from Lo Duca. Dodgers Stadium is not a good hitter’s park. But what happened? If he puts up 2002 numbers, he’s worthy of a 6th round pick. If he hits as he has the past two years, you might as well wait until the 18th round to grab him. I would expect somewhere in the middle.
1B – Robin Ventura
Robin Ventura has not hit higher than .247 since 1999. He certainly is no longer a big player in fantasy terms, or to be honest, for the Dodgers. However, he should play every day. In 2003, he hit .242 with 14 homers and 55 RBI. At least with the Yankees, he still would hit over 20 home runs. That is not going to improve in Dodgers Stadium. Draft him late, if at all.
2B – Alex Cora
Cora has been pretty consistent over the last four seasons. Unfortunately, that isn’t a good thing. He did hit .291 in 2002, but his .249 average last year was his next highest average. He has hit 4, 4, 5, and 4 home runs. He has driven in 32, 29, 28 and 34 runs in that time. Stolen bases? 11 in the last two years. In other words, try really hard not to draft Cora.
3B – Adrian Beltre
Beltre has never become the superstar that many had hoped. In 2003, he hit just .240 but added 23 homers and 80 RBI, a pretty typical season for him. To summarize, he has not become a star, but his numbers are not as terrible as you want to think. Draft him in the 19th round, and just try not to get too frustrated by his inconsistency.
SS – Cesar Izturis
If Alex Cora is not worthy of a draft pick, what does that make Izturis. In just over two years as the Dodgers primary shortstop, Izturis has hit .246 with 4 homers and 80 RBI. (Again, that’s 2+ years!) Don’t draft him!
LF – Juan Encarnacion
Juan Encarnacion hit .270 with 19 home runs and 94 RBI for the Marlins in 2003. For his efforts, he lost his RF job to Miguel Cabrera in the World Series, making him expendable. He was traded to the Dodgers where he should get to play every day again. Encarnacion is a quality major league hitter. I would actually expect him to put up very similar numbers in 2004, despite the vastness of Dodgers Stadium. Take him in the 21st round.
CF – Dave Roberts
Roberts has been the main CF the last two years with the Dodgers. In 2002, he played in 127 games and hit .277 with 14 doubles, 7 triples, 3 HR and 34 RBI. However, his fantasy value comes from his 45 stolen bases. How about 2003? He was injured, so he played just 107 games. He hit .250 with six doubles, five triples and two homers with 16 RBI. Somehow he still stole 40 bases. So, if SBs and important in your league, Roberts could be worth a 14th round pick. If they’re not, Roberts is probably not worth drafting.
RF – Shawn Green
It was a bad year for Shawn Green in 2003. He hit .280 with 19 homers and 85 RBI. He still had 49 doubles though! The two previous seasons, he had hit 91 homers and driven in 239 runs. After averaging 25 stolen bases from 1998-2001, he has had a total of just 14 steals the last two years. So, I fully expect Shawn Green to come back with a strong 2004 campaign. His value as a top level OF though is down because of his stolen base numbers. Take him in Round 5.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Green.
The Bad – The whole infield. .
The Question Marks – Can the middle infield be at all productive offensively? Can Green and Lo Duca have big comeback years? Is Ventura done?
San Diego Padres
C – Ramon Hernandez
Hernandez has been the starting catcher for the Oakland A’s. He had his best season in 2003. In 140 games, he hit .273 with 24 doubles, 21 homers and 78 RBI. He should be able to duplicate those numbers in 2004, now with the Padres’ stacked lineup. I would start considering Hernandez after Round 10.
1B – Ryan Klesko
Klesko has been a very solid, sometimes spectacular hitter for the Braves, and the last four seasons with the Padres. The lone problem with him is health. He hasn’t played more than 146 games in a seasons since 1996.Even so, he has hit over .280 with 26 doubles, 24 homers and 81 RBI. He probably has eligibility at 1B and the OF, which increases his value. However, I would not recommend drafting him before the 17th round.
2B – Mark Loretta
Mark Loretta has been a very solid big league hitter for the last eight years. He has hit over .280 each of the last seven seasons. In 2003, he played in more games than he had before (154) and responded by hitting .314 with 13 homers and 72 RBI. A very good season, especially good because he is a 2B. Again, in the Padres lineup, I would expect very similar numbers in 2004 from Loretta. Because of his position, I would take him around Round 10.
3B – Sean Burroughs
After really struggling in 63 games as a rookie, Burroughs had a very solid season in 2003. In 146 games, he hit .286 with 27 doubles, 6 triples, 7 homers and 58 RBI. I would actually expect for Burroughs to take another leap forward next season. He is still just 23 years old. I would draft him around Round 16.
SS – Khalil Greene/Ramon Vazquez
The 24 year old Greene was the Padres first round pick in 2002. He progressed quickly through the minor league system, finally getting the call to the big club last September. In 20 games, he hit .215 with 2 homers and 6 RBI. Before being called up, he spent 59 games in AA, hitting .275. He was then called up to AAA where he played in 76 games and hit .288 with 10 homers. Ramon Vazquez is a very dependable big league shortstop. He won’t hurt a team at all. However, his ceiling is no where near what Greene’s is. I wouldn’t draft Vazquez, because the fact is that this is Greene’s job to lose. Even if he starts the season at AAA, he will be called up when he is deemed ready. Take a late round flyer on Greene after the 24th round.
LF – Brian Giles
Brian Giles is one of the best, most productive hitters in baseball over the past five seasons. He started last year injured, limiting him to 134 games. Even so, he still managed to hit .299 with 34 doubles, 20 homers and 88 RBI. He also walked 105 times. Looking at his previous five years, here is an average season for Giles: .307 with 36 doubles, 34 home runs (37 w/out last year) and 105 RBI. With a full season in San Diego, I expect Giles to have another monster season. He always produces big numbers yet always seems to be overlooked on draft day. Consider him in Round 3, maybe the end of Round 2.
CF – Jay Payton
In 2003, Jay Payton stayed healthy and had his career best season for the Rockies. He hit .302 with 32 doubles, 28 homers and 99 RBI. Granted, some of that may have to do with hitting in Colorado, but Payton also hit .303 with 16 homers and 59 RBI in 134 games in 2002. Again, I feel that the Padres offense will be stacked, so Payton should put up similar numbers in 2004, probably minus a few homes. That makes him about a 9th round in my opinion.
RF – Phil Nevin
Phil Nevin made a remarkable comeback from a shoulder injury to play 59 games. In limited time, he hit .279 with 13 homers and 46 RBI. I would like to say that he will come back in 2004 with a big year. But if you look at 2002, he only played in 107 games. In that time, he hit just 12 home runs. If Nevin is able to come back and be healthy, he could put up numbers like he did in 2000 and 2001 when he averaged hitting .305 with 31 doubles, 36 home runs and 96 RBI. But even in those seasons, he played in just 143 games and 149 games. Because of the injury-risk, Nevin is a risk before the 7th round.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Giles and Klesko.
The Bad – No real weaknesses.
The Question Marks – Can Nevin and Klesko stay healthy? Who will win the SS position in the spring? How many runs will be scored by the Padres in 2004?
San Francisco Giants
C – A.J. Pierzynski
After being demoted from the Twins to AA and work his way back to the Twins, Pierzynski has continued to improve. In 2003, he hit .312 with 35 doubles, 11 homers and 74 RBI. It was his second consecutive .300 season. What will he do with the Giants? It should be interesting. I think that it could take him an adjustment period. But there is no home-field advantage to hitters in San Francisco, so I would expect his home run total to decrease but his doubles to increase. I would consider taking AJ in about the 9th round.
1B – J.T. Snow
JT Snow has a great glove, but the 35 year old 1B has never been known for his offense. In his 11 major league seasons, his average is just .263. In the last three seasons, he has hit a combined 22 home runs. He did hit .273 last year (after .246 seasons the previous two years). However, in 2001 and 2003 he missed a combined 100 games. There are a lot of good 1B in the big leagues, try not to have JT Snow on your team.
2B – Ray Durham
Ray Durham missed 52 games in 2003, but still managed to hit .285 with 8 homers and 33 RBI. Before 2003, however, Durham had averaged 154 games a season. In a regular season, Durham is good for 30 doubles, 5 or 6 triples, 15 home runs and 20-25 stolen bases. With those types of numbers, Durham warrants a 14th round pick.
3B – Edgardo Alfonzo
Alfonzo is one player I really don’t know what to expect from. I really don’t. He had a bad season in 2003, hitting just .259 with 13 homers and 81 RBI, in 142 games. The year before, with the Mets, he hit .308 with 16 homers but 56 RBI, and he played just 135 games. In 2001, he played in just 124 games and hit just .243 with 17 home runs, but just 49 RBI. You have to go back to 2000, to find Alfonzo’s last truly great season. That year, he hit .324 with 25 homers and 94 RBI. In 1999, he hit .304 with 27 homers and 108 RBI. What does that mean? Alfonzo has been anything but consistent, in performance and in health. I do think he will have a better 2004, but I still would wait until Round 13 to pick him.
SS – Neifi Perez
Neifi Perez gets a lot of grief for being a terrible hitter. Well, the last two years, he definitely has been bad. Last year, he hit .256 with 1 HR and 31 RBI. In 2002, in 145 games with the Royals, Perez hit .236 with 3 HR and 37 RBI. But the four years before that, Perez was adequate. From 1998-2001, he hit over .274 each year. He averaged 10 homers. He even drove in runs. In other words, regardless of what you read, he is not a bad hitter. However, based on the last two seasons and the fact that his style of play does not transfer well to fantasy baseball, try not to draft Neifi.
LF – Barry Bonds
The best player in baseball! Pujols is the only one that is even close. I don’t even know what numbers to throw out at you first. The home runs (658 career), the walks (198 in 2002, 148 in 2003), the batting average (.370 in 2002, .341 in 2003). There are just too many numbers that I could throw at you. But everyone knows Barry. Take him in the top 6 picks. The lone negative about him, from a fantasy perspective is the fact that no one pitches to him. You lose out on more HR and more RBI.
CF – Marquis Grissom
Marquis Grissom has been around for a long time. 2004 will be his 16th in the big leagues. He has always been very good. In 2003, he hit .300 with 33 doubles, 20 homers and 79 RBI for the Giants. In 2002, he hit 17 homers in just 111 games for the Dodgers. In 2001, he hit 21 homers, but hit just .221 for LA. I think it is fair to expect a .275 average with 15-20 homers. He no longer is a big threat to steal bases. I would wait until after the 22nd round to draft him.
RF – Michael Tucker/Jeffrey Hammonds/Dustan Mohr
Michael Tucker comes to the Giants from the Royals. He missed 48 games and hit .262 with 13 homers and 55 RBI. Jeffrey Hammonds split 2003 between Milwaukee and San Francisco and played a combined 46 games. He hit .242 with 4 homers and 13 RBI. He is still just 32 years old. Former Twins OF Dustan Mohr played in 121 games for the Twins last year. He hit .250 with 22 doubles, 10 homers and 26 RBI. In 120 games in 2002, Mohr hit .269 with 23 doubles, 12 homers and 45 RBI. This situation will be murky and ugly and frustrating to fantasy owners all season. So, stay away from all three of them.
Team Fantasy Summary -
The Good – Bonds and Pierzynski.
The Bad – Snow, Perez and the RF situation.
The Question Marks – How will the RF situation play out? How long can Bonds be so dominant? Which Alfonzo will show up?
Well, that is it for Part 6 of my Fantasy Baseball Preview. I hope you’ve enjoyed my previews of the hitters in baseball. The format will change slightly tomorrow as I will begin to discuss the pitchers. Please let me know what you think. Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed! E-mail me.
Aaron Boone will probably miss the 2004 season. Why? He tore his ACL playing basketball about 10 days ago. Why is this a huge deal? Well, in Boone’s contract, it specifically prohibits him from playing basketball. In other words, this injury could void his Yankees contract. This will be an interesting situation to follow in the next days and weeks.
If Boone can’t play, the Yankees have a situation to figure out. Do they take a chance and give Drew Henson the job, knowing he probably is not that good and will strike out a lot. Who knows? Maybe he could suddenly hit!
The other option is for the Yankees to go out and trade for a 3B. The problem is that they have no prospects that anyone would really want. It should be interesting to see how this plays out.
The Timberwolves won again last night, this time on the road in Denver. They overcame a triple-double from Nuggets point guard Andre Miller (24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). Latrell Sprewell tipped in a shot to give the Wolves the win. Kevin Garnett led with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Sam Cassell didn’t shoot well at all, but still managed 22 points and 11 assists. The role players really did the job though last night.
Almost as importantly, the win clinched that Wolves head coach Flip Saunders will be the head coach for the Western Conference at the All-Star game. It is really quite an honor, but what it means is that the Wolves have the best record in the conference right now. Because Kings coach Rich Adelman coached the squad last year, he can not coach the All-Star game again this year. Kevin Garnett and Sam Cassell will join him there.
I was unable to watch the game last night, so I am going to share with you the thoughts of Leslie Monteiro. Leslie had been writing up his thoughts on Nets games, but when the team was sold last week, he resigned from that position. He is also very upset about yesterday’s firing of Nets head coach Byron Scott. Here are Leslie’s thoughts on the game and some of his thoughts on the Nets situation.
Man this Timberwolves team is something else. From watching them up close the last three games, I have more admiration for this team than I did before. They really impress me tonight. They had no business winning this game, but they win anyway. That's a sign of a great team right there. I thought Denver outplayed the Wolves for most of the game, but fortunately they came through. I thought the Wolves would lose when the score was 90-84 Denver, but I am glad I was wrong.
Fred Hoiberg and KG was the story in crunch time. Fred's couple of threes in this game was so huge and KG's big bucket was the clincher. This team got so many clutch players and I am not just talking about the starters. Guys like Mad Dog, Hoiberg, Hassell have just stepped it up in crunch time.
I thought KG and Sam was huge.
I love watching KG talk. You can always hear his voice in the background on the game. I just love hearing him speak with that passion and energy.
Wolves were great on defense especially Mad Dog.
I am glad the Wolves played well to start the game. I thought they would get off to a slow start since they were playing yesterday not to mention they were playing in a mile high attitude, but they did quite well.
I would be remiss if I did not point negatives though. Wolves gave up too many second and third opportunities for the Nuggets and Denver made the Wolves pay a lot. I also thought the Wolves let the guys go wide open and have easy layups. Wolves allow a lot of fast break points too in that game.
I think Spree brings a lot of good things on the table and he shut down Carmelo tonight, but he has gotta get it going on offense. He is on a shooting rut. He has to snap out of it considering he is wide open with Sam and Kevin being double-team.
Denver got a good team and they will get better. It will be fun to see both teams face each other every year. Denver got some talent. I thought Chris Anderson was fantastic. He showed lot of agility and moxie out there. Earl Boykins and Andre Miller was amazing.
Nuggets announcers annoyed me all night long. They are whining about fouls and how the refs were favoring the Timberwolves.
I really enjoyed this game. I love the Western Conference so much more than the Eastern Conference because every night is always good game while in the East you got only four good teams out there.
I am going to find a way to fork up the money to buy League Pass. I am going to order it tomorrow. I gotta watch the Wolves. They are so fun to watch. You guys are so lucky to see this team nightly. I gotta find a way.
Great win. It's becoming a cliche saying stuff like great win and good game.
Here are his thoughts after finding out about Byron Scott’s firing yesterday:
Boy this has been some week, eh? I have to give you my take on Byron and I like to hear your take on Byron and what happened.
I got up at 2:00 p.m., and my dad told me about Byron being fired. I was very angry when I read that. It was obvious that Bruce Ratner, the new Nets owner, wanted to cave in to Jason Kidd's demand and what better way to please that jerk (Kidd) than to fire Byron Scott. Good job, Bruce. Goes to show you what a rat he is. Did Rod Thorn made the decision? Yes, but I doubt he truly wanted to see Byron fired. This has to come from Mr. Ratner who wanted to make sure he wanted to see everything good for what he invested in.
I was not surprised or shocked that he was fired because it was coming, but I really have a problem with him being fired. He has done a great job as the coach of the Nets. All he has done is win and get to the Finals, but he was not appreciated from Jason Kidd, fans, and ownership. What else can he possibly do? He does not have a great center or have a guy like KG or Tim Duncan. Has he made mistakes? Sure, but you know what all coaches do. That happens to great coaches too. The bottom line is what counts and all I know he is the winningest coach in Nets history. That has to say something. Too bad some people can't appreciate his work.
It was obvious that Jason Kidd got him fired because he has not been a fan of his for a long time. Too bad. Quite frankly, I have had it with Kidd's act. I am fed up with Kidd whining about coaches and getting them fired. Just who the heck is he? You know sooner or later, Lawrence Frank will run into problems with Kidd. It's bound to happen.
I think the Nets did him a favor firing him even though it should never happened. He can take some time off and get ready to coach next year. He was not coming back one way or another. Will he be a head coach in the NBA next year? I hope so and I think he will. He is a great coach and teams could hire him. I think he would be a great fit with teams like Phx, Minnesota (if they lose in the first round again), Atlanta, and maybe the Lakers. With that said, he is in no position to cherry-pick his job like Phil Jackson or even Rick Carlisle considering he has proven that he can't win without the best players on the team and the fact that he has been able to win games because his assistants do the dirty work according to the media. I think he has gotta prove to prove some critics that he can make more with less talent even though I think it is ludicrous because you win with good players. We will see what happens.
As for coach Frank, good luck to him. I am not sure if the Nets situation was right for him. He was better off coaching elsewhere.
It's just another tragic day for this Nets organization that has been familiar with tragedy forever.
My Thoughts – You’re absolutely right! The only reason Jason Kidd did not sign with the Nets even sooner was because he wanted Byron Scott out as head coach. So, the move is not really a surprise. That’s just how it works in sports. It’s not the players that go, it’s the coach. Byron Scott has proven to be a great coach. No, they haven’t won the finals, but no team in the East can beat a West team. The Nets have had to deal with a lot from the Kidd/Scott situation, to the loss of Alonzo Mourning. Yes, you can blame the new ownership, but then again, when they buy the team, they need to put the people they want in charge. So, they had the right to make the change. It’s just a really unfortunate situation, and Scott’s tirade this weekend probably didn’t help his case. He will definitely wind up somewhere next year and be very successful!
OK, that is it for today. Any thoughts on my baseball preview, the Boone situation, the Twins, the Wolves, or anything on your mind, please e-mail me! Have a great Tuesday!!
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