Wednesday November 12, 2003
Wolves Lose to Sonics
Mike Anderson Suspended
ALL OVER THE PLACE
More awards, lots of rumors, some basketball, some football. There’s just a lot going on in the world of sports. Hence, the title. If you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
The Baseball Writers of America got it right with their AL Cy Young Award choice. Toronto righty Roy Halladay made 36 starts in 2003 and completed nine of them. He pitched 266 innings. But, even with all those innings, he averaged just 100.8 pitches per game. That’s very efficient. More than 30 more than any other pitcher. He went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA. Chicago’s Esteban Loaiza finished a distant second. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez picked up a bonus of $500,000 for finishing 3rd in the Cy Young voting. From SportsCenter Closing Number yesterday, his bonus (again, for finishing 3rd!) was more than 317 players salaries who were on Opening Day rosters. Incidentally, $500,000 is what the White Sox paid Esteban Loaiza this season.
Today we will find out who wins the Manager of the Year Awards. My picks were Tony Pena in the American League and Felipe Alou in the National League. I am 99.5% certain that Pena will win the AL award, but I’m pretty sure that Jack McKeon will win the NL award.
Who would have thought it? The Texas Rangers appear to be making efforts to trade $250 million man, Alex Rodriguez, arguably the best player in the major leagues (with apologies to Barry Bonds). Why? Money, that’s it. Rangers owner Tom Hicks decided to offer A-Rod $90 million more than anyone else was, and now he doesn’t like it. So, what kind of rumors are we hearing? Well, the main ones have Rodriguez going to the Red Sox. Maybe a A-Rod for Manny Ramirez deal. From the Rangers side, they save about $90 million over the life of the contracts. From the Red Sox perspective, they get rid of Ramirez, which it’s pretty clear they are making a priority this offseason. Can you imagine A-Rod drilling liners off the Green Monster? The question becomes: What about Nomar Garciaparra, arguably the second best shortstop in baseball? He’s greatly underpaid and becomes a free agent at the end of next season. The Sox need a second baseman after Todd Walker became a free agent. Maybe they try to move Nomar to 2B for a season and see how that works out. Otherwise, I’ve read the possibility of a trade where A-Rod would go to the Red Sox. Nomar would go to the Anaheim Angels. David Eckstein and numerous other players, probably/hopefully pitchers would go to the Rangers. Personally, I’d like to see the A-Rod/Nomar double-play combination for a year. See? Stuff like this is what makes the Hot Stove season so exciting!!
As you can imagine, Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner had something to say about Hideki Matsui not winning this year’s American League Rookie of the Year Award (Royals SS Angel Berroa did). And, to be honest, I can totally understand his point. I’ll explain what I mean, but first be sure to check out his press release on mlb.com:
Statement by George M. Steinbrenner
"While I have great respect for the Baseball Writers' Association of America and all of its contributions to our national game throughout the years, I firmly believe that a great injustice has been done to Hideki Matsui.
Two misguided writers -- Bill Ballou from the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette and Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- in voting for American League Rookie of the Year, clearly made up their own rules to determine who was and was not eligible for the award and disqualified an eligible candidate who could have won.
One of the writers in question, Mr. Ballou, actually said, 'While he [Matsui] is technically a rookie by the rules of Major League Baseball, he is not a rookie in the spirit of the award.'
Spirit of the award? The award was renamed by the Baseball Writers' Association to honor Jackie Robinson, its first recipient. Jackie Robinson came to the Major Leagues after playing in the Negro Leagues, a league whose high level of play is unquestioned.
This year's voting farce, where the appropriate qualifications for the award were blatantly ignored, clearly demonstrates unfairness to first-year players from Japan. And that must be stopped."
First, I do have to remind you that I gave my fake vote for AL Rookie of the Year to Angel Berroa (with Matsui finishing second in my rankings). Because Matsui was from Japan? Not at all. I voted for Berroa because I think he had a better season. That simple.
Current Major League rules designate that, despite being an MVP in Japan, Hideki Matsui is a Rookie. So then, doesn’t it make sense that the job of the Baseball Writers is to vote for the award based on which “rookie” had the best season? As Will Young pointed out at the Dickie Thon Forum:
“3 of the first 6 winners (of the Rookie of the Year Award) were Negro League veterans (Robinson, Don Newcombe and Sam Jethroe).”
I am 100% of the opinion that players such as Ichiro, Kaz Sasaki and Hideki Matsui should not be considered rookies. I think that rule should somehow be altered. However, at this time, they are counted as rookies. Because of that, it isn’t up to Bill Ballou or Jim Souhan to make a political statement in their voting. They can comment in their articles. Their job as voters is to vote based on the players eligible, NOT the players they feel should (or shouldn’t) be eligible.
By the way, to be fair, read Jim Souhan’s Baseball Insider column from today’s Star-Tribune. He responds to George Steinbrenner’s press release and explains why he chose to vote the way he did.
WOLVES LOSE TO SONICS
Kevin Garnett did all he could. 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists. Latrell Sprewell scored 20 points. Sam Cassell chipped in 15 points, 13 assists and 5 boards. The other players didn’t do enough though. Fred Hoiberg knocked down three 3-pointers for his 9 points. Michael Olowokandi added 8 points and 6 boards. So, what happened to the Wolves last night in their 89-87 loss to the 4-1 Seattle Supersonics?
Ronald Murray -
1. who is really only playing because of Ray Allen’s injury,
2. who was the 4th highest scorer and 9th leading assist mean in Division II Shaw University just two years ago,
3. who was drafted in the 2nd round (42nd overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2002,
4. who played just 12 games and scored just 23 points in just 42 minutes with the Bucks before being traded to the Sonics in the Gary Payton trade, and then played in just two games with the Sonics,
5. who has scored 20 or more points in all five games this year,
6. who, going into the game was averaging 23.5 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game,
7. who last night increased those averages by making 9-18 from the field, and 11-12 from the line, for a career high 29 points, with 8 assists and 6 rebounds,
8. who last night took a fade-away jumper just outside the lane, over the tight defense of Latrell Sprewell, the Wolves best defensive player in a tie game,
9. who watched that shot hit the back of the rim, then the front of the rim before dropping in as the buzzer sounded, giving the Sonics an 89-87 win.
I love the stories of the small school players who make it in the NBA. The Division II and Division III players who actually went to college to get an education and then play a little ball on the side, who worked hard enough against the odds to make it. Ronald Murray is a good example of that! Miami Heat rookie forward Jerome Beasley is from Division II North Dakota, where Lakers coach Phil Jackson went. So far, he’s played in just one game with the Heat, playing 3 minutes and scoring 2 points.
But, you’ve also known that the Official Favorite player of SethSpeaks is Division III product Devean George, who continues to play great in his Hollywood role as “The Other Starter” for the Lakers. Through the Lakers first seven games, George is averaging 33 minutes, 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals. He’s also shooting 61.4% (#2 in NBA) from the field, including 52.2% (#8 in the NBA) from 3-point range.
BRONCOS MIKE ANDERSON SUSPENDED
Former NFL Rookie of the Year in 2000 and current Broncos fullback Mike Anderson was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. I hate to say anything negative about Anderson, because Anderson has always been a ‘good guy’. He admitted that he had tested for marijuana but, predictably, says it was a mistake, that any pot he had in his system was inhaled from second-hand smoke. My opinion, if you want to stay out of trouble, don’t put yourself in a position where there’s pot close enough for you to inhale any, even if it is second-hand. That’s just asking for problems. It is also important to remember that an NFL player can not be suspended for a first offense. In other words, Anderson must have already been through the league’s program.
I would encourage everyone to check out the Aaron’s Baseball Blog entries from the past two days. Normally, Aaron writes about baseball, but he has written two GREAT articles about the high school players who have entered the NBA since Kevin Garnett paved the way in 1995. In Monday’s entry, Aaron writes about Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O’Neal, the first four (since KG was the first since Moses Malone) to jump from high school to the NBA. In Tuesday’s entry, Aaron discusses those who have made the leap since that time. There are very good players (Rashard Lewis), some busts (Korleone Young, Leon Smith), and some players who the jury is still out on or haven’t had enough time to develop yet. It’s just very interesting reading and I would encourage everyone to take the time to read it. Today, he’s back to talking baseball with discussion on the Rookie of the Year voting.
Bryan over at Wait Til Next Year has a couple of great entries the past few days. One is a number of predictions for the 2004 season. It is fun and very interesting to hear his thoughts. Check them out!
Be sure to check out a new link on the left side of my screen, Ball Talk. It’s a new baseball blog written by what is believed to be the first openly gay blogger. I have been reading his baseball analysis since he started the site just a week ago, and it’s some great analysis by a Cubs fan. Here is his first blog entry.
Check out the Twins Geek. He is writing up a 5-part entry on some of the challenges facing the Twins for 2004 and how to go about correcting them. They’re all very interesting. I would link to them, but if you go to the main link, he has linked to the first three right at the top of today’s entry. So far, he’s reviewed where the Twins really were in 2003, the starting rotation and the bullpen. Now he’s discussing the lineup.
For those of you interested in college football, be sure to check out The Bad Twin. He keeps tabs of the Big Ten, as well as individual players to look out for. Of course, when there’s baseball news, he does discuss that as well.
If you’re interested in finding a number of other Baseball sites worth checking out, check out this link. Maybe someday I’ll be included on the list! It’s a very interesting way to look at baseball sites.
And finally, and I should have linked to this earlier in the week, but Rich of Rich’s Weekend Baseball BEAT was able to get an interview with Lee Sinnis, the creator of the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia. It’s worth the visit!! Check it out!
And with that, I’m going to close out this entry. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read. Please feel free to send me an e-mail and comment on anything. Have a great Wednesday!
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