A few thoughts as the doldrums of February roll on. I was going to do a top ten list of thought, but I figured that eight is enough. At least once upon a time it was.
- Maryland’s basketball team is pretty good. Don’t let the Duke game fool you. Look at it this way, they played a very sub par first half on the road, at Cameron, and with five minutes to go in the game they were down four. Let’s face it, sometimes people play bad games. The other night, Michigan State’s Drew Neitzel and Raymar Morgan both had no points at halftime in a big game at Purdue. Zip, zero, nada. Needless to say, the Spartans were down sixteen. I think Maryland may end up being the third best team in this conference, albeit in a down year for the ACC, but it’s still a far cry from the team that couldn’t beat any mid-majors in December. If they can get production from Hayes and Milbourne they will be tough to defend. In any game where they are both non-factors, the Terps will be in trouble, as they were the other night. But in general, I wouldn’t jump off of the bandwagon just yet.
- Gone Baby Gone is very entertaining and rather thought provoking. It’s much better that We Own the Night. Yes, I know they both came out Tuesday, but I’m an old married guy with three kids. What do you think my weeknights consist of?
- When talking about Erik Bedard, look at Josh Beckett’s numbers. I mentioned this on Bob’s show today. Beckett was always hurt in Florida. His highest innings pitched total was 178 2/3. That means his first real durable season was ’06 in Boston when his ERA was 5.01 and he gave up 36 bombs. That makes ’07 his first and only really solid big league season. I know that everyone in Baltimore wants Bedard to fail, and believe me, I don’t want the Mariners to be good either, but I would bet that in at least one of the next two years Bedard makes thirty-two starts and is one of the top pitchers in the league playing for a team in contention.
- Contrary to another blog, Mike Mussina has won a World Series game. It was October 22, 2003 against Florida.
- That same blog mentioned sure-fire hall-of-fame pitchers. One of the ones mentioned was John Smoltz. While Smoltz has had great stuff for about the last two decades, when you look at his numbers, they are some surprising elements. He has been a starting pitcher for thirteen years, and he’s won more than fifteen games only three times. That’s it, three. When you compare that to other solid, non hall of fame pitchers of this generation, it doesn’t look so good. David Wells has six seasons with over fifteen wins. Kenny Rogers has five. Mike Mussina has eight. Andy Pettitte has six. Heck, Charles Nagy had four. And remember how good the Braves have been during his run. Can you really induct a guy into the hall of fame who was only going to give you fourteen wins a season? Now, I realize that his numbers as a closer add to the debate. He certainly was a good closer; a very good closer. But as long as Rivera and Hoffman were around, I don’t think he was ever considered to be the best. So maybe the combination of his starting and his closing gets him in, but as a starter he would not make it. Not with only 207 wins.
- I see that the Orioles have picked up several pitchers who can also block shots and rebound when they’re trying to throw strikes. I will never know what the fascination is with tall pitchers. Pitching is a boring, monotonous, repetitive motion, much like golfing, bowling, and field goal kicking. How many 6’6” golfers do you see on tour? Look at the 200+ games winners who pitch now. Madduz, Pedro and Moyer are not six feet tall. Glavine, Mussina, and Rogers, are all slightly over six feet. Smoltz, while seemingly tall and lanky is only 6’3”. David Wells is listed at 6’4”. Randy Johnson is the only one taller than that. Even when you look at the youngsters, Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb are 6’1” and 6’2”. Mark Buehrle is 6’2” and Tim Hudson is 6’1”. Even the great Johan Santana is 6’ on the nose, as is Scott Kazmir. The only three really tall, really good pitchers that I can think of right now are Justin Verlander at 6’5”, Roy Halladay at 6’6” and C.C. Sabathia at 6’7”. Maybe I’m missing someone, but I think my point is clear. Stop drafting and trading for pitchers who can change light bulbs without stools. They usually are too lanky to repeat their motions over and over.
- After watching the Clemens hearings the overriding thought in my head isn’t about HGH, Needles, or nannies. The thing that I can’t get out of my head is OH MY GOD, THESE GENIUSES ASKING THE QUESTIONS WERE ACTUALLY ELECTED!
- I miss the blogs of Matt Bender.