November 6, 2003
Happy Birthday Christopher (The big 13!!!)
NL GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
SAD BASEBALL NEWS
LEBRON v CARMELO
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK (be sure to e-mail me today to have your thoughts heard tomorrow!)
Whoís Representing You? (Team USA)
Iíve written a number of times about Team USA. They are playing down in Panama City, Panama, in the Olympic Qualifying tournament. Team USA held camp and played games in the Arizona Fall League the past month before cutting down to their current 24 man roster. So far, in pool play, Team USA is 3-0. I have mentioned the Twins prospects (Joe Mauer, JD Durbin and Jesse Crain) that are on the tournament team, but today, Iím going to discuss all 24 members of the squad, giving a little information about each player. Hey, theyíre representing our country, trying to give USA a spot in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. They deserve a little recognition!
Last night, Team USA beat host Panama 3-0 in a real pitcherís dual. Ryan Madson started and went five 2-hit innings, striking out 7 batters. Twins prospect JD Durbin pitched two innings, gave up no runs and struck out 3. Brian Bruney struck out the side in the 8th inning, and Jesse Crain got the save by striking out the side in the bottom of the 9th inning (with a double mixed in). The Panama pitchers struck out 14 USA batters including Joe Mauer and Ernie Young three times a piece. SS Mike Rouse doubled in a run. Graham Koonce singled in a run, and Ernie Young hit a 9th inning solo home run for the final 3-0 score. Team USA now plays at noon today against Brazil, before the Quarterfinals start on Friday.
MANAGER - Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson has put together a pretty impressive managerial career in stints with the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. He has led the mess that is the Montreal Expos to very respectable 83-79 seasons, even with all of the issues in their periphery. Frank Robinson was one of the best hitters of all time (Even if I did not include him in my analysis of the gameís greatest hitters of all-time. A career .294/.389/.537 hitter, with 586 home runs and 1,812 RBI in his 21 year career.
Hitting Coach - Thad Bosley
Thad Bosley spent 14 seasons in the big leagues from 1977-1990. He played for the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Be sure to check out The First Thad Bosley Fan Page for some interesting tidbits on him. He was the Oakland Aís hitting coach until early this year when he was let go because of the early season struggles of the Aís hitters (and probably issues with Billy Beane).
Pitching Coach - Dave Stewart
Dave Stewart is one of the more fierce, intense pitchers I remember seeing pitch. Stewart pitched 16 big league seasons between the LA Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Aís and Toronto Blue Jays. For his career, Stew had a record of 168-129 with a 3.95 ERA. However, from 1987-1990, here are his records with the Oakland Aís, 20-13, 21-12, 21-9, 22-11. Thatís pretty impressive. Since his career ended, he has been pitching coach for a couple of major league teams, as well as some front office positions.
Brian Bruney RHP 6-3 220
Brian Bruney was a 12th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000. He made two starts in rookie ball that year, but has not started a game since. In his 3+ minor league seasons (plus 4 games of rookie ball), Bruney has pitched 201 innings in 168 games. In those innings, he has struck out 220 and walked 111. His 2003 season was split between AA El Paso and AAA Tucson. He combined for a 3-3 record with a 2.70 ERA. In 63.3 innings, Bruney struck out 60 while walking 31. So, he has occassional control problems, but other times, he pitches like last night. He came in for the 8th inning against Panama and struck out the side. Although I would suspect that Bruney will start out 2004 with Tucson, he will probably be given a shot to win a bullpen spot with the Diamondbacks.
Jesse Crain RHP 6-1 200
Those who have read this site for a while know that I think quite highly of Jesse Crain. Around the trade deadline, I proposed the Twins trade Eddie Guardado and give the closer job to Crain. He moved up the system quick this year. He started the season in Fort Myers before moving up to AA New Britain. After 22 games there, Crain was moved up to AAA Rochester where he picked up 10 saves in 23 games. His overall numbers were 6-3 with 19 saves and an ERA of 1.93. Those numbers earned him the Twins minor league pitcher of the year award. The Twins #2 pick in 2002 out of the University of Houston was actually born in Toronto, but moved to Colorado early in life. Crain should start 2004 in the Twins bullpen, and depending on free agent movement, he could be the closer.
Justin Duchscherer RHP 6-3 190
Justin Duchscherer is about to turn 26. He was the 8th round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1996 out of his Texas high school. He was actually born in Aberdeen, SD. Duchscherer pitched for the Oakland Aís in September, going 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 3 starts. He earned the call up with a 14-2, 3.25 ERA season at AAA Sacramento. In 2002, also at Sacremento, Duchscherer was just 2-4 with a 5.57 ERA. He actually had a very solid 2001 season in the Texas Rangers organization, actually moving from Class A all the way to the Rangers, where he was 1-1 with a 12.68 ERA in 5 games (2 starts) and 14 2/3 innings. Now, donít you think the Rangers would love to have someone like Justin Duchscherer on their roster? I think that he will be given every opportunity to win the #5 spot in the Aís rotation, behind The Big 4 (Hudson, Zito, Mulder and Harden).
J.D. Durbin RHP 6-0 180
Another Twins top prospect, JD Durbin has lived up to the Real Deal hype. The Twins 2nd round pick in the 2000 draft, Durbinís career has mirrored Joe Mauerís. The two have moved from level to level together, developing a great rapport with each other. The 21 year old Durbin became a big-time prospect with his 2002 season at Quad City. He went 13-4 with a 3.19 ERA. He struck out 163 hitters in 161 innings, while walking just 51. The success continued in 2003, with a 9-2, 3.09 start at Ft. Myers. He moved up to AA New Britain and went 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA. Combined, Durbin pitched 182 innings (which is why his innings are being limited with Team USA) and struck out 139, walking just 63. I think that Durbin will be given an opportunity to win the Twins #5 spot in the rotation in spring training but assume he will begin the season, with Joe Mauer, at AAA Rochester.
NEW JD DURBIN JOURNAL ENTRY - Durbin has been entering a weekly journal onto MLB.com. He wrote his most recent entry yesterday, before the Panama game. It is very interesting! Check it out!
John Grabow LHP 6-2 190
John Grabow just turned 25 on Tuesday. He was the 3rd round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1997. He has progressed through the Pirates system slowly, but this was a big year for Grabow. Coming into 2003, Grabow had a career minor league record of 36-49. He started the season at AA Altoona, his third year at that level. Something must have clicked though, because he went 6-1 with a 3.36 ERA in 24 games (9 starts), before he moved up to AAA Nashville. There, he pitched 17 games, all in relief. He went 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA. He did strike out 26 hitters in 24 2/3 innings. It was enough to get the call to the big leagues for September. He pitched 5 games with the Pirates. In 5 innings, he struck out 9 batters, walking none. A great impression. I think heíll be given an opportunity for a spot in the Pirates bullpen in 2004!
Ryan Madson RHP 6-6 180
Ryan Madson is a tall, lanky righty who the Phillies nabbed with their 9th round pick in 1998. The 23 year old has really progressed steadily, yet successfully, each year. In 2002, at AA Reading, Madson was 16-4 with a 3.20 ERA. He had 132 strikeouts in 171 innings. In 2003, Madson primarily pitched at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and went 12-8 with a 3.50 ERA. He pitched 157 innings and struck out 138 while walking just 42. It earned him a September call up to Philadelphia, where he made one, two-inning relief appearance. I would think that Madson would get a shot at the Phillies 2004 starting rotation, especially if they lose Kevin Millwood to free agency.
Horacio Ramirez LHP 6-1 170
Horacio Ramirez started the season as the Braves 5th starter. He also proved to be one of their more consistent the whole season. The reason he is on this team is because he was demoted for a day on August 31, which made him eligible for the team. The 23 year old (he turns 24 at the end of the month) Ramirez ended the season with a 12-4 record, with a respectable 4.00 ERA in 29 starts. In 182 innings, he struck out just 100, while walking 72. So, clearly heís a Tom Glavine-like pitcher, who needs to work on his control to keep the walk total down. I wrote a posting on Ramirez in August saying that although he would rank behind Brandon Webb and Dontrelle Willis, his rookie year warranted discussion. Ramirez was the Braves 5th round pick in 1997 out of his Inglewood, CA, high school. He should certainly be penciled into the 2004 Braves rotation.
Royce Ring LHP 6-5 220
Royce Ring was traded from the White Sox to the NY Mets in the Roberto Alomar trade this summer. The big, hard-throwing lefty was the 1st round pick in 2002 out of San Diego St. The 22 year old combined to go 4-5 with 26 saves in 2003, with an ERA of 2.20, all at the AA level. He could certainly play a role in the 2004 New York Mets bullpen, probably as their closer. I think the White Sox are going to regret giving him up!
Jason Stanford LHP 6-2 200
Jason Stanford started and won Team USAís first game of the tournament, a 7-0 win over Nicaragua. The 26 year old went 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 13 games (8 starts) with the Cleveland Indians this summer. He pitched 50 innings and struck out 30 batters (16 walks). At AAA Buffalo, he went 10-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts. In 126 innings there, he struck out 108. I think thatís a pretty good combined year, and should be given a shot to make the Indians 2004 starting rotation.
John Van Benschoten, RHP 6-4 210
When John Van Bencschoten was drafted out of Kent State University in the first round of the 2001 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the big question was whether he would be drafted as a pitcher or a hitter. But I think that he has proven the Pirates right in making him a pitcher. After going 11-4 with a 2.80 ERA at Low-Class A in 2002, Van Benschoten pitched at Hi-Class A and AA in 2003. His combined record was 13-6 with a 3.17 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 139 innings. He will probably begin 2004 in AA Altoona, but could move up quickly.
Todd Williams, RHP 6-3 210
Todd Williams spent the 2003 season at Durham, the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He pitched 56 games in relief, going 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA. He had just 36 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings. Certain, Williams, at the age of 32, is no longer a prospect, but he could be a coffee conniseur because he has had a few cups of coffee in the big leagues (1995 - Dodgers, 1998 - Cincinnati Reds, 1999 - Seattle Mariners, 2001 - New York Yankees). In those big league showings, Williams combined for a record of 3-3 with a 5.54 ERA. He has pitched 50 career games, all in relief. My thought is that after this Team USA experience, some team will sign him to a minor league deal and he will attempt to get another big league call.
Gerald Laird C 6-2 190
I saw Gerald Laird play this summer in the Dome and get a hit or two off of Johan Santana. Laird, who will turn 24 next week, was the 2nd round pick of the Oakland Aís in 1998. In his 6 minor league seasons, he is a career .267/.360/.380 hitter. He has hit 27 homers. This season, he played primarily at AAA Oklahoma where he hit .260/.344/.429. In 19 games with the Rangers, Laird, in 44 at bats, hit .273/.360/.432, with a homer and 4 RBI. Laird will probably have the opportunity to back up, if not split time, with Einar Diaz next season.
Joe Mauer C 6-4 220 L/R
Maybe youíve heard of him? Joe Mauer was named Baseball Americaís 2003 Minor League Player of the Year. I write about Mauer a lot on this site. I wouldnít be at all surprised if, even though he will be just 19 when the 2004 season starts, the Twins trade All-Star catcher AJ Pierzynski and give Joe Mauer the catching job. For everything youíd like to know about Joe Mauer, JD Durbin, Jesse Crain and many other Twins prospects, please check out this link to my Twins minor league prospects report from a month or so ago. Itís called Twins Prospects: MauerÖ and More.
Chris Burke IF 5-11 180
SS Chris Burke was the Houston Astros first round pick (10th overall) in the 2001 draft out of the University of Tennessee. The 23 year old Burke struggled in his first full minor league season at Round Rock in 2002. However, he spent the 2003 season there as well and came back with a .301/.379/.381 season. Not great numbers, but certainly something to now build and move forward with. I would think he will start next season at AA.
J. J. Hardy IF 6-2 180 R/R
21 year old JJ Hardy was the 2nd round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2001 draft. 2003 was his second year at AA Huntsville. After hitting .228/.269/.297 in 2002, Hardy came back with a .279/.368/.428 season in 2003, with 12 homers and 62 RBI. I would think that now heís ready for the next level in 2004.
Graham Koonce IF 6-4 220
Graham Koonce is a good baseball story. He was a 60th round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1993 and made his major league debut, 10 years later, at the age of 28, with the Oakland Aís. Journeyman minor leaguer who the Aís were interested in. Thatís right, he has consistently put up big walk totals, and in the last couple of years, he has added power to his repertoire, hitting 24 homers in 2002 and 34 in 2003. So, Koonce was 1-8 in his September at bats with the Aís with six strikeouts, but the story is still good. Hopefully heíll get a shot at the big league club next spring. Heís been great for Team USA.
Mike Lamb IF 6-1 190
Mike Lamb has spent at least part of every season with the Texas Rangers since 2000. That year, he played in 138 games and hit .278/.328/.373 with 6 homers and 47 RBI. He played in 76 games in 2001, 115 games in 2002 and just 28 in 2003. With the emergence of Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira this year, Lamb was out of a job. At 28, Lamb minor league career totals (496 games) are .310/.336/.495 with 58 homers and 335 RBI. His major league totals (357 games) are .282/.336/.385 with 19 homers and 117 RBI. He was originally a 7th round pick out of Cal St.-Fullerton in 1997 and quickly moved up the Rangers organizational ladder. Iím not sure if heíll be back next year. He probably needs an opportunity with another organization. For Team USA, he is a utility infielder.
Justin Leone IF 6-1 200
26 year old, Justin Leone was the 13th round pick in 1999 of the Seattle Mariners. 2003 was his first season at the AA level and he hit .288/.405/.541 (sound like really good Aís numbers) with 21 homers and 92 RBI. I would think he would move up to AAA for next season. With the Mariners in need of a productive third baseman, it is possible that Leone would got to spring training with an outside chance of claiming that position.
Mike Rouse IF 5-11 180
Mike Rouse was the Blue Jays 5th round pick in 2001, another product of powerhouse Cal State-Fullerton. He is now in the Aís organization. In 2003, he started at AA Midland and hit .300/.392/.405 before moving up to AAA Sacramento for 2 games at the end of the season (where he was 3-7). I would think that heíll man one of the AAA infield positions in Sacramento next season.
Gabe Gross OF 6-3 200
Gabe Gross was the 15th overall pick out of Auburn in the 2001 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He has already moved up to AAA. This season, Gross started at AA New Haven and hit .319/.423/.481 (you could call these Aís numbers, but the Blue Jays subscribe to the same philosophy). He was called up to AAA Syracuse and in 53 games, he hit .264/.380/.456. I would think heíll start out in AAA next season with a chance to be called up to Toronto during the season.
Matt Holliday OF 6-4 230
23 year old, Matt Holiday was the Rockies 7th round pick in 1998. A big man, he has shown some power in his minor league career, but not a large amount. In 2003, Holliday played in AAA Tulsa and hit .253/.313/.395 with 12 homers and 72 RBI. Looking at him from a Twins perspective, he is reminiscent of Michael Restovich, however, Resto has put up better numbers at every level.
Jeremy Reed OF 6-0 180
Jeremy Reed was the 2nd round pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2002. He has moved up the system quickly already. The 22 year old Reed started this season playing 65 games at Hi-Class A Winston-Salem where he hit .333/.431/.477 with 4 homers and 52 RBI (and 27 stolen bases). He was called up to AA Birmingham and in 66 games, Reed hit .409/.474/.591 with 7 homers and 43 RBI. (Read those numbers again, itís worth the second look!) Iím sure the Sox would love to rush this guy up to the big leagues and fix their CF problems for the next 15 years!
Grady Sizemore OF 6-2 200
21 year old Grady Sizemore was a AA All-Star this year. He has been a hitting phenom since being drafted by the Expos in the 3rd round of the 2000 draft. He came to the Indians organization in the Bartolo Colon trade in 2002. After arriving in his new surroundings, following the trade, Sizemore played 47 games with Kinston, the Indians Hi-Class A affiliate. He hit .343/.451/.483. In 2003, he spent the entire season at AA Akron. He played 128 games and hit .304/.373/.480 with 13 homers (26 doubles and 11 triples) and 78 RBI. A top prospect, Iím sure heíll be invited to spring training, and probably start the season at AAA Buffalo.
Ernie Young OF 6-1 230
The old man of the team and the veteran of a number of Team USA teams, including the 2000 Gold Medal Olympic team. Ernie Young is 34 years old and has been playing pro ball since 1990 when he a 10th round pick of the Oakland Aís. He stayed in the Aís organization until 1997. He has since played in the Royals, Diamondbacks and Tigers organizations, as well as overseas. In 2003, Young played in 128 games hitting .264/.342/.452 with 21 homers and 84 RBI. He has played a total of 280 major league games and hit .224/.307/.380 with 27 homers and 90 RBI. 141 of those games were with the 1996 Oakland Aís when he hit .242/.326/.424 with 19 homers and 64 RBI. Iím sure heíll be looking for an organization to sign him for the 2004 season.
Well, there is the 2003 United States Olympic Qualifying Tournament Team. Be sure to keep up with them at their website here. If you have any questions, let me know and Iíll try to answer them, or comments youíd like to share on Team USA, Iíd love to hear them. E-mail me.
NL GOLD GLOVES AWARDED
Yesterday, I discussed the American League Gold Glove winners. In making my predictions near the end of the season, I correctly picked seven of the nine winners. Remember Part 2 of this weekís Discussion Question. It is, how did John Olerud get chosen as the Gold Glove 1B over Doug Mientkiewicz. That award still bothers me, two days later! E-mail me and let me know what you think?
Now, to the National League Gold Glove winners. I made the predictions for those nine awards too, but I was nowhere near as accurate. Like I did yesterday with the AL selections, I will remind you of my comments for those I got wrong. Which means, you will get to read a lot of short comments since I was right on just two out of 9 selections. On a couple, my comments did credit the eventual winner. So here we go:
Catcher - Sethís choice - Brad Ausmus, Actual winner - Mike Matheny
Without quite the rocket arm of Bengie Molina (or probable winner in this category, Pudge Rodriguez), Ausmus is as good as anyone at blocking balls in the dirt and calling a good game. Part of the reason why he probably wonít win is because he is not a good hitter at all. Actually, heís last in the whole National League in OPS. Thatís why, in reality, Rodriguez or the Dodgers Paul Lo Duca will probably win the award.
First Base - Sethís choice - Todd Helton, Actual winner - Derrek Lee
Todd Helton is the National League equivalent of John Olerud, however, with much better range. He is smooth around first base though and saves his infielders a number of errors with his scooping abilities. Atlantaís Rob FickÖ definitely wonít be considered for the award!
Second Base - Sethís choice - Alex Cora, Actual winner - Luis Castillo
The Dodgers have stayed in playoff contention because they have a great pitching staff. But, Kevin Brown, Kaz Ishii and Hideo Nomo are all extreme ground ball pitchers, so the infield must be good! Alex Cora has been great. He wonít win because 1.) heís not a big name, and 2.) he also canít hit. Jose Vidro will probably win the award. He doesnít have a lot of range, but he has just 9 errors on the year. Marcus Giles leads the league in Range Factor, but again, he plays behind a group of ground ball pitchers, so he will have more opportunities.
Third Base - Sethís choice - Scott Rolen, Actual winner - Scott Rolen
Shortstop - Sethís choice - Orlanda Cabrera, Actual winner - Edgar Renteria
Healthy again this season, Cabrera, in my mind, should reclaim his Gold Glove from Cardinals SS Edgar Renterria. Heís got good range, quick hands and a strong arm and makes all the plays. Renterria is good too, and will probably win the award because he had a great first half and was the All-Star choice.
Outfield - Sethís choice - Andruw Jones, Preston Wilson, Mark Kotsay, Actual winner - Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, Jose Cruz, Jr.
Jim Edmonds will probably get an award for his acrobatic catches, but I just donít see him being that great. He makes a lot of plays look a lot tougher than they really are. Andruw Jones is just the opposite. He makes everything look so easy. He gets to everything, has a good arm, and makes the truly spectacular catches. I think Mark Kotsay is one of the most underrated players in baseball. I would compare him a lot to a younger Steve Finley. Not really flashy, but makes all the plays. Preston Wilson is my other choice. Heís got to cover a lot of ground in Colorado. He has great range and a good arm. Plus, maybe his defense will be noticed now that he had such a great offensive season too. Also, because normally Larry Walker is considered for this award, and when voters realize that heís not good any more, theyíll notice the centerfielder in Colorado and vote for Wilson.
JOSE CRUZ, JR.???? Did anyone see him play the field in the NLDS, dropping balls all over the place? Good thing this is voted on before the playoffs! Yeah, he had 18 assists, which is good, but his arm isnít his glove, is it?
Pitcher - Sethís choice - Greg Maddux, Actual winner - Mike Hampton
Maddux will surely win his 14th consecutive Gold Glove this year. Maddux consistency is amazing. 16 straight seasons with 15 or more wins. 14 consecutive Gold Gloves. How obvious is his first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame!? Just as deserving this year though is Madduxís teammate Mike Hampton. Heís a very good athlete, like Maddux, and comes off the mound to field his position incredibly well.
OK, maybe Ďsurelyí wasnít the right word. The NL managers actually got this one right.
What do you think of the Gold Glove choices? Any opinion? E-mail me.
SAD BASEBALL NEWS
Reds OF Dernell Stenson was found early this morning, shot and run over, in Chandler, Arizona. He was playing in the Arizona Fall League. The 25 year old Stensonís body was found shot and run over by an SUV. Stensonís SUV was found 10 miles away, near Mesa, with the driver being detained at this time. Stenson played in 37 games for the Reds this season and hit .247 with 3 homers and 13 RBI.
Stenson was a 3rd round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 1996. He reached AAA Pawtucket by 1999, but stalled there through 2002. This season, he went to the Reds organization and mashed the ball at AA before moving up to AAA for 17 games. The Reds outfield was decimated with injuries to Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns and Ken Griffey, Jr., before Jose Guillen was traded to the Aís. That gave Stenson his first opportunity to play in the big leagues.
At least it was a good game, and some points were scored. However, in overtime, the Kings pulled out the 125-121 win over the Wolves at Target Center. The Wolves actually started off well, gaining a big lead, but the Kings are too good not to come back. Actually, the story was Peja. He was left open way too much for a guy with his track record!
For the Wolves, Kevin Garnett had 28 points, 11 rebounds. Sam Cassell had 26 points and 14 assists. Latrell Sprewell added 23 points and 8 boards. They got great efforts from Trenton Hassell (4 points, 5 rebounds), Mark Madsen (12 points, 8 rebounds) and Gary Trent (11 points, 9 rebounds).
The Kings were led as usual by the sharp shooting of Peja Stojakovic with 34 points, including 5-6 from three point range. 24 of those points were scored after halftime. Mike Bibby added 22 points. Bobby Jackson and Vlade Divac (8 rebounds, 10 assists) chipped in 18 a piece, while Brad Miller added 17 points (8 rebounds)
The Wolves fall to 2-3. Their next game is on Friday night is in Orlando against Tracy McGrady and the Magic. It is another ESPN nationally televised game for the Wolves, starting at 7:00.
I really donít think itís time to start worrying about the Wolves. They are getting contributions from a lot of players. This is showing that they really need to get Troy Hudson back to playing. Having Wally Szczerbiak back and healthy would also be huge. But, check out the Wolves Geek for an account of what he must be going through.
Any comments on the Wolves? E-mail me.
CARMELO v. LEBRON (GAME 1)
The Nuggets won the game 83-79. Neither rookie was spectacular, yet both showed the types of players that they will become. Lebron James was just 3-11 shooting for 7 points, but he still contributed 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Carmelo Anthony was just 6-17 from the field for his 14 points. He did add 6 rebounds, but had just 2 assists.
I think that Carmelo is showing that he is growing tired of the media hype surrounding he and Lebron. He is at least gracious enough to do the interviews, but he certainly does not look like he enjoys them, and frankly, heís not good at it. Lebron on the other hand, seems to fully understand what he is. He is well spoken and answers questions with a smile, and even in tough situations, after losses, heís cordial and cooperative. Will it last, or will he too get sick of it? Time will tell.
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF WEEK (reprinted from Mondayís posting)
We havenít had a Discussion Question of the Week for a while. I have a new one for you to help me answer. As we have done in the past, I will ask a question today, and Iíd like to hear your opinions on the question. On Friday, I will post the responses I receive. So, be sure to send me an e-mail and have your voice heard. So, here is this weekís question:
What is your favorite sport to watch? And Why? The second part of the question is just as important as the first. I realize that the majority of people that check out my site on a daily basis are baseball people, but I am beginning to get more and more basketball fans as well. But why? What is it about baseball that we love watching? What is it about basketball? Here is the list of my personal favorite sports to watch, in order (subject to change by Thursday). On Friday, I will also discuss the reasons that I enjoy them (or donít as much, in some cases).
2.) NBA Basketball
3.) NFL Football
4.) NCAA Basketball
5.) NCAA Football
6.) College Hockey
7.) NHL Hockey
∑ feel free to distinguish ďwatchingĒ as ďon TVĒ or ďin personĒ, because, hockey is not enjoyable at all, for me, to watch on TV. However, watching games in person is as exciting as any of the above sports.
∑ Feel free to distinguish between regular season and playoffs? I think College basketball is pretty boring, except during March Madness. That said, if college football went to a tournament, I might enjoy that more than the current Bowl process.
∑ Baseball is a grind, with six games a week, over a 6 month period. The NFL plays one game per week. Does that factor in?
∑ Does the sports marketing affect how much you enjoy the sport? The NBA markets its players. Warren Sapp is right, the NFL markets the teams, and not the players. I donít really know who the NHL markets.
∑ Other thoughts, Iím sure I missed many reasons. Actually, I know I have, because Iíve got more that Iíll share on Friday.
∑ Because some might ask, I was driving to my parentís place last Friday afternoon, a 3+ hour drive. I spent some time listening to the Sports Brothers on ESPN radio, and this was their topic. I didnít listen to the whole thing because I like to sing to myself (really loudly) in the car so I spent a lot of time doing that too, but I caught a few of their points.
Take a look back at our previous Discussion Questions of the Week to see the format. I like giving the readers a chance to express their feelings, so I basically just post what you write (although expletives will be removed!). Here they are:
6/26/2003 - Would the Greatest Be SO Great?
8/8/2003 - Who Do You Want To Talk To?
8/15/2003 - All-Time Best Lineups
8/29/2003 - Your Thoughts on the Twins
9/5/2003 - Is Terry Ryan "The Man" or "The Goat"?
10/16/03 - Your Thoughts on the 2004 Minnesota Twins Roster
So there you have it, send me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts. Then check back Friday and see the results.
There you have it. Be sure to answer the Questions of the Week. Then check back tomorrow for the answers that youíve sent me. Iíve already got a number of great responses and would love to hear more, so e-mail me your thoughts. Tomorrow, we will also have our Week 10 ďExpertĒ FB Picks. I need help after my 5-9 week last week! How embarrassing! Anyway, have a great Thursday!
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