B&B Rapid Fire: Cruz, Santana, Incognito and More

February 24, 2014 | WNST Staff

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis of the big news stories and headlines of the week for a couple minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire.  We will post our answers in blog form every Sunday to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

Listen HERE to last week’s Rapid Fire Segment.


Barry 1: With the NFL Combine going on throughout the weekend, we always here big names that will not participate in certain drills for various reasons, especially QBs in throwing drills. In your opinion, should quarterbacks participate in all aspects of combine to properly display their value?

BD: In the end, the combine is used as a tool for the players, and if they feel any drill will hurt their stock, then by all means, do not do it.  A player’s value is so fical and we have seen many players drop because of bad Combine performances; if teams only have game tape to evaluate, that may be a good thing.

As for QBs, it would be nice to see the top rated ones, throwing to a collection of the best WRs in the country.  It would certainly display their skill sets with the biggest, fastest, strongest in the country.  It would also benefit those pass-catchers equally, as they get the opportunity to run routes with the best QBs slinging them the ball.


Brett 1: After the signing of former Rangers slugger, Nelson Cruz, the Orioles have most likely found their everyday DH. But they were also in on possibly bringing in switch-hitter, Kendrys Morales. Who would have been a better fit for the Orioles?

Nelson CruzBK: I have no issue with the Baltimore Orioles moving forward with Nelson Cruz as opposed to Kendrys Morales. Morales would have provided the Orioles with more versatility, both at the plate and in the field, but it appears that Morales and his agent are firm on holding out for a multi-year deal. With Chris Davis playing above average defense at first base last season, it made sense that the Orioles would covet Cruz, who can be the everyday DH while also spelling David Lough when the team faces a left-handed starter, as well as giving Nick Markakis the occasional day off.

The 50-game suspension for Cruz scared a lot of suitors away, and he was forced to settle for a 1 year $8 million contract. I look for Cruz to prove to other teams that they made a mistake by not signing him. Even a .265 average with 25 HRs and 75 RBIs is a significant upgrade from the production of the cast of characters that filled the designated hitter role last season.


Barry 2: After disappointing finishes for both Men’s and Women’s hockey teams, what is your reaction to their performances in the highlighted sports of the Olympics?

USA Olympic HockeyBD: First off, you have to be proud as an American for those teams (and all the athletes) to make it as far as they did, with that level of competition.  Both teams played their hearts out against the Canadian teams, with tough finishes.

You saw the raw emotion coming from the ladies, with the last minute collapse in regulation and ensuing overtime.  The tears running down their eyes led you to understand that they left it all out on the ice. So though it was disappointing neither team took the gold, I have a great sense of pride watching those teams.


Brett 2: The Orioles added front of the rotation starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, earlier in the week, but have been reportedly still interested in adding pitcher, Ervin Santana.  Do you think they should consider adding another rotation arm into the mix?

Ervin SantanaBK: After talking with Tucker Blair from Orioles Nation [Link it], it appears that the team is essentially finished its spending this offseason, save for a few minor moves that may occur during spring training. The Orioles have enough pitchers in camp that they will find trouble finding a home for everyone. My current projection of the Orioles rotation is as follows:

1) RHP Chris Tillman

2) LHP Wei-Yin Chen

3) Ubaldo Jimenez

4) Bud Norris

5) Miguel Gonzalez

Jimenez has better stuff than Chen, but fits in nicely as the #3. The former Indian will provide the team with a Right-Left-Right rotation, which forces opposing managers to tinker with their lineup in the middle of a three game series. Gonzalez’ nagging back injury is a cause for concern, but the Orioles will have enough guys in the bullpen this year (Zach Britton, Suk-Min Yoon, Steve Johnson) that can spot-start, or be the #5 for a month. It appears unlikely that Ervin Santana will end up in Baltimore, and the signing of Jimenez will provide the innings and stability that the team needs to compete in the toughest division in Major League Baseball.


Barry 3: Many teams in the league will be weighing the options of bringing in ex-Dolphins OL, Richie Incognito or Jonathan Martin. If you had to chose one as an NFL GM, who would you pick?

Incognito MartinBD: This can be somewhat comparable to the Ray Rice situation, as all that really matters to NFL GMs is whether or not a player can help their team win. It is really sad to say, but it is true; just look over NFL rosters, including the most well-run organizations (even the Ravens).  Teams are littered with low character guys because they are talented.

In this case, Richie Incognito has been a better player than Martin, and would have to be my choice as a GM.  Though he is older, I would bank on Incognito keeping up his play at the same level, over Martin developing over the next couple seasons.  In the end, production outweighs all, and Incognito is simply the better player.


Brett 3: Recent reports have come out that Warner Brothers is going to make a sequel to our childhood classic, ‘Space Jam’, with Lebron James having the headlining role.  Is that a good fit? And a bonus question; which players would you steal talent from if you are the ‘Monstars’?

Space Jam 2BK: The reports of a Space Jam 2 provides sports writers with the opportunity to once again compare the careers of LeBron and MJ. While starring in a kids movie would help repair King James’ image from “The Decision”, it just wouldn’t be right. Personally, if Warner Brothers was going to make a sequel, it should have taken place with Kobe Bryant during the early 2000s, when he was in his prime.

Which five players should the Monstars recruit to face the Tune Squad? I came up with them pretty quickly:

PG Kyrie Irving (play off of the Uncle Drew character, in addition to his talent)

SG Dwayne Wade (who wouldn’t want to see a Wade/James rivalry?

SF Paul George (to defend James) or Kevin Durant (scoring purposes)

PF Kevin Love (rebounding machine who is friends with Uncle Drew)

C  Dwight Howard (Personality would translate well to the silver screen)