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Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI   

Normally when a guy ranks 40th on the all-time hits list with 2866 (134 away from an automatic bid) with 1628 RBI (26th) I’d say a spot should be waiting for him in Cooperstown.  Harold Baines is the exception.

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You’re Out
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
2830 Games (18th All-time)
9908 At Bats (27th All-time)
.289 Batting Average
1299 Runs (114th All-time)
2866 Hits (40th All-time)
488 Doubles (53rd All-time)
49 Triples
384 Home Runs (51st All-time)
1628 RBI (26th All-time)
.465 Slugging %
1062 Walks

Playoffs – 31 games, 102 at bats, 33 hits (.324), 14 runs, 4 doubles, 5 home runs, 16 RBI, 9 walks, .510 slugging percentage.

The Awards
6 All-Star Games
1 Silver Sluggers
MVP votes in 4 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Three times
On-base % – Once
Slugging % – Once
OPS – Three times
Games – Three times
At Bats – Twice
Hits – Once
Doubles - Once
Triples - Three times
Home Runs – Once
Total Bases – Twice
RBI – Twice
Intentional Walks – Nine times

I had to remind myself why I don’t think he belongs when I saw his total numbers.  They are impressive.  However, when you look closer you see he never scored 90 runs, had 200 hits, 40 doubles, or 30 home runs.  He only had 100+ RBI on three occasions.  He was good, but never great.  Looking at his lack of awards and top ten finishes only confirms it.  I’d say he only had two really good years (1985 & 1999).  While it is impressive that they came so far apart, it doesn’t merit entry into the Hall of Fame no matter how much I like Harold Baines as a player. 

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

First, I’m going to do my part to help Save the Hall of Fame Game.   If you think a tradition that dates back seventy years is important, then Sign the Petition. OK, on to the matter at hand.

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg 
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

Billy Martin will forever be associated with being fired by George Steinbrenner and his habit of kicking dirt at umpires when he was mad. What he should be remembered for is his ability to win.  He won division titles with four different teams (Minnesota, Detroit, the Yankees, and Oakland).  He won the A.L. pennant in 1976.  He won back-to-back World Series titles with the Yankees in 1977 & 1978.  He ranks 31st on the all-time managerial wins list with 1253.  His winning percentage was .553.  He was named the manager of the year four times. 

He even had a few good seasons as a player, winning the Babe Ruth Award (World Series MVP – he went 12 for 24 with 5 runs, 1 double, 2 triples, 2 home runs, and 8 RBI) and making the All Star team in 1956.  In all, he won four World Series titles as a player.  His fiery temper and drinking hurt him both as a player and a manager.  His behavior led to him being traded from the Yankees to the Royals.  The Yankees thought he was a bad influence on Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.  Despite his successes as a manager, he would let his words or his fists get out of line, which led to his dismissal.  He wasn’t a model citizen or a good role model, but he was a winner.  I don’t hold his drinking against him.  He obviously had a problem with it.  What he did as a player and a manger merit a spot in Cooperstown. 

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Casey Stengel, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Bera
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

References
Baseball-Reference.com
ESPN Classic
Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

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The season is more than half over, but with the break in the action that the NBA All-Star Game has afforded us, I’ll take the time to hand out my “midseason” Lester Awards.

MVP - Chris Paul
It was Kevin Garnett’s award to lose, and he’s done just that.  The Celtics have carried on without him.  What I couldn’t imagine is New Orleans functioning without their floor leader.  CP3 is second in the league with 10.9 assists per game and leading the league with 2.57 steals per game.  You can’t ask for much more out of your point guard.  Nevertheless,  he’s giving more by chipping in with 20.5 points per game (24th in the league) and 4.0 rebounds per game.  He’s shooting a respectable 47.6% from the field and 87.4% from the line.

Rookie of the Year - Kevin Durant
This one isn’t even close.  Durant is leading all rookie in scoring with 19.4 points per game, which is almost nine points more than the any other rookie.  I’d like to see him hit the boards harder (4.1 rpg), but that will come as he adds strength.

Most Improved - Jose Calderon
Rudy Gay is right up there, but Calderon’s improvement was a much bigger surprise.  His scoring has increased by over four points per game, his rebounding has improved by 1.4 per game.  The biggest jump is in his assists, going from 5.0 to 8.9 per game.  What’s even more impressive though, is his turnovers have basically remained the same (1.4 to 1.6).  His Field Goal Percentage increase from a solid 52.1% to an amazing 54.4%.  His three-point percentage jumped dramatically from 33.3% to 47.2%.  Even his free throw shooting improved from 81.8% to 92.3%.  Hedo Turkoglu is right up there with Calderon.

Comeback Player of the Year - Peja Stojakovic
Peja played in only 13 games last year, mainly because of a back injury.  However, he’s responded this year playing in 46 of the team’s 51 games.  His shooting touch is still there (he’s made 47.8% from three, 93.1% from the line, and 46.2% from the floor), although his scoring is down slightly (16.3 ppg).  He is sharing the load with David West, Chris Paul, and Tyson Chandler.  Considering those three have been outstanding for their position on the boards, his 4.0 rpb isn’t bad.

Sixth Man of the Year - Manu Ginobili
Talk about a runaway.  Manu is once again lighting it up with averages of 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.72 steals per game.  He’s shooting 45.1% from the floor, 41.2% from downtown, and 83.1% from the line.  Plus, he’s helped San Antonio remain in the hunt while Tony Parker is out.

Defensive Player of the Year – Marcus Camby
Camby is once again leading the league in defensive rebounds with 11.1 per game and blocks with 3.86 nightly.  Add 1.14 steals per game for good measure.  He’s helped Denver to the sixth lowest field goal percentage against. 

Coach of the Year - Doc Rivers 
Byron Scott, Jerry Sloan (every year it seems), and Stan Van Gundy (who’s smiling now Riley?) deserve mention, but the job Rivers has done with Boston is incredible.  Sure, they have great players, but their depth is limited, and they’ve been able to adjust to injuries to Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.  They are 41-9 at the break (.820).  Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Celtics success has been on the defensive end.  They are allowing a league-low 89.4 ppg and holding opponents to a league-low 42.18%. 

NBA First Team
Chris Paul
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Kevin Garnett
Dwight Howard
 
NBA Second Team
Steve Nash
Allen Iverson
Carmelo Anthony
Tim Duncan  
Marcus Camby

NBA Third Team

Baron Davis
Dwayne Wade
Carlos Boozer
Amare Stoudemire
Chris Bosh 

Those are my picks. What changes would you make?

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA |

NBA Slam Dunk Contest

17 February 2008

By using Google Analytics, I’ve been able to see that I’ve had visitors from all over the globe.  I think that is really neat.  In order to make you feel at home I say Welcome, Welkumme, Bienvenue, Witajcie, Aayiye, Dobrodoshli, Bienvenidos, Bem-vindo, Vitajte, Irashaimasu, Benvenuto, Bun venit, Dobro pozhalovat’, Merhaba, etc.

OK, on to the dunk contest.  So I lied.  I did watch the dunk contest. I was watching my nephew and son playing so I figured “why not tune in”.  I turned it on midway through the first round of the three-point shootout.  Dirk looked a little too slow.  Jason Kapono was lights out.  Daniel Gibson shot pretty well in the Finals, but Kapono was great.  Finally, the dunk contest came on.   

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

From the beginning you could tell that the announcers, the judges, and the NBA wanted Dwight Howard to win.  His first dunk was ridiculous.  I’ll say the 50 he received was deserved.  He bounced it on the back of the backboard, caught it and slammed it home on the other side. Unbelievable.  Gerald Green didn’t run away scared.  He lit a candle on a cupcake, which he blew out as he dunked.  Talk about elevation. Howard’s second dunk was the one that got everybody going.  He took off his jersey to reveal a Superman shirt.  He even put on a cape.  He jumped through the roof and eventually threw the ball through the hoop.  Everyone went nuts.  Problem is, he didn’t dunk it.  To me you have to touch the rim to dunk the ball.  Sorry.  Barkley and Kenny Smith were claiming it one of the top five dunks in Slam Dunk history.  I’ll give you the first dunk.  However, this one wasn’t even a dunk.  In the finals, he had another amazing dunk.  He bounced it high off the ground caught it at it’s peak, bounced it off the backboard, and slammed it home.  It was a slick dunk.  Gerald Green answered with two between-the-leg dunks (one with only his socks on).  They were great, but you’ve got to mix it up.  Although, I don’t think it would have mattered.  Even if Green did outdunk Howard, there was no way he was taking home the prize.  For his last dunk, Howard propped the ball on a mini-hoop on the backboard.  He went up and grabbed it off the mini-hoop did a mini-windmill and slammed it home.  It was a nice dunk, but nothing too spectacular. 

The dunk contest was fine.  There were some unbelievable dunks it in.  I’ll give you that.  However, the self-hype that TNT was ramming down our throats was unbelievable.  I’m sorry but this was, by no means, Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins.  It just wasn’t.

Click here to see the action.

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA |

First, I’m going to do my part to help Save the Hall of Fame Game.   If you think a tradition that dates back seventy years is important, then Sign the Petition. OK, on to the matter at hand.

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg 
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

Like Jimmie Dykes, Charlie had success as both a player and as a manager.  His numbers alone don’t merit a HOF berth, but combined with his managerial prowess, I believe he has what it takes.

As a player he racked up 2299 hits (132nd All-time), scored 908 runs, had 394 doubles (161st), 108 triples, 79 home runs, 1078 RBI (194th), with a .290 batting average and a .397 slugging percentage.  He received MVP votes in 1925, 1929, and 1931.  His top ten finishes include Batting Average (Twice), On-base %, Games (4 times), Hits, Doubles, Triples (Four times), and RBI (twice).  He was great with his glove as well, winning nine fielding titles at first base.

His didn’t win a World Series as he played on the Cubs the majority of his career, but he did excel in the nine World Series games he played in.  He had 12 hits in 33 at bats (.364) with 4 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, and 5 RBI.

He also was very successful as a manager.  He went 1287-1067 (.547) with four NL Pennants (’32, ’35, ’38 & ’45).  In his first nine years as manager he went 706-494 (.588) with those four pennants.

Jolly Cholly played 20 seasons and manager 19 more.  He dedicated his life to the game.  When you add his accomplishments as a player to his accomplishments as a manager, I think it’s plain to see that Charlie Grimm belongs in the Hall of Fame.

References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

1. Oakland – JaMarcus Russell, QB LSU
Obviously it’s wait-and-see with JaMarcus.  Even if he wins the starting job next year, he’ll likely struggle.  In his only start last year, he actually played well.  Of course it was against San Diego in a meaningless Week 17 game.  He completed 23 of 31 passes (74.2%) for 224 yards with a TD and an INT.  He also lost a fumble.  It’s hard to say if the Raiders did the right thing drafting Russell, but at least initially it seems they would have been better off with Adrian Peterson or Patrick Willis. 

2. Detroit – Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
Calvin had a decent year catching 48 passes for 756 yards and 4 TDs.    However, given the pass-happy offense they ran, Detroit would have likely a little better production out of him.  However, Mike Martz didn’t hide his infatuation with Shaun McDonald very well.  That relationship likely cut into Calvin’s rookie campaign.  There’s still plenty of time for this pick to be justified, but initially it appears they would have been better served looking elsewhere.

3. Cleveland- Joe Thomas, OT Wisconsin
It’s hard to measure the impact of an offensive lineman, but Cleveland’s rankings of 8th in Offense, 12th in Passing Offense, and 10th in Rushing Offense reflect well on Thomas, especially when you consider they were 31st in Total Offense a year ago.  They also tied for 3rd with only 19 sacks allowed.  I would say they did the right thing.

4. Tampa Bay – Gaines Adams, DE Clemson
Gaines had a decent year recording 6 sacks in his last eleven games.  He played well in a playoff loss to the Giants recording five tackles and a sack.  Tampa should be pretty happy with their selection.

5. Arizona – Levi Brown, OT Penn State
Levi played 13 games as a rookie.  He helped Edge to 1222 yards, although is 3.8 ypc wasn’t great.  Arizona was 12th in Total Offense and 5th in Passing Offense.  Thier 29th ranking in Rushing Offense leaves room for improvement.  They only allowed 24 sacks, which is great considering how many passing attempts they had.  I think he’ll show improvement next year.

6. Washington – LaRon Landry, S LSU
A good pick became a great pick when Sean Taylor was unfortunately gunned down late last year.  Landry didn’t come up with any interceptions in the regular season, but he did rack of 95 tackles and 1.5 sacks.  He had 12 and 15 tackles against the Giants and Patriots respectively.  He picked off two passes in the playoff loss to Seattle. 

7. Minnesota – Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma
Yeah, I’d say Minnesota did OK with this one.

8. Atlanta (from Houston) – Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas
I’m no defensive coordinator, but I don’t think it’s good when a DE doesn’t record a sack all year long.  He did have thirty tackles, but one would suspect they would rather have Amobi Okoye or Patrick Willis if they could do it all over again.

9. Miami – Ted Ginn Jr., WR Ohio State
I’m sure had Parcels been in place last year, Ginn wouldn’t have been the choice.  He would probably have went with Willis or Okoye.  If he had to go WR, Dwayne Bowe, or even Steve Smith for that matter, would have been better picks.

10. Houston (from Atlanta) – Omobi Okoye, DT Louisville
Building on last year’s selections of Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, Amobi was a great pick.  He recorded 5.5 sacks for the Texans.  He’s very young (he’ll turn 21 this summer), but he’s a quick learner.  The future is bright for Okoye and th Texan defense.

11. San Francisco – Patrick Willis, LB Mississippi
174 tackles.  Any questions?

12. Buffalo – Marshawn Lynch, RB California
Lynch did a good job replacing Willis McGahee.  He pretty much was their offense in Buffalo’s first nine games.  He missed three games with an ankle injury, but finished strong averaging 91 yards per game in his final four games.

13. St. Louis - Adam Carriker, DT/DE Nebraska
Carriker got to the QB twice last year.  He added thirty tackles.  To be an effective NT, I think he’s going to have to bulk up a bit.  He’s very athletic for a big man, and I expect him to be even better next year.

14. NY Jets, (from Carolina) – Darelle Revis, CB Pittsburgh
Revis had a solid rookie season racking up 87 tackles, 17 PDs, forcing a fumble, and picking off three passes.

15. Pittsburgh – Lawrence Timmons, LB Florida State
Timmons failed to make an impact for Pittsburgh recording only 13 tackles.  Hopefully for Steeler fans he develops, but wouldn’t Jon Beason’s 140 tackles would have been nice.

16. Green Bay - Justin Harrell, DT Tennessee
Harrell only played in nine games this year, recording 16 tackles.  He played better down the stretch recording 13 tackles in his last four games.  He aslo had three tackles against Seattle in the playoff victory.  He should take steps next year towards justifying that first round selection.

17. Denver (from Jacksonville) – Jarvis Moss, DE Florida
Jarvis missed the final ten games of the year after breaking his leg and tore ligaments in his ankle.  He stared out OK recording 12 tackles and a sack in his first six.  He has a long road to recovery.

18. Cincinnati – Leon Hall, CB Michigan
Leon Hall was a bright spot on a pretty bad Cincy defense.  He ranked sixth on the team with 69 tackles and led the team with 5 INTs.

19. Tennessee – Michael Griffin, S Texas
Michael Griffin made his impact felt both on defense and in the return game.  He had 54 tackles and 3 INTs.  52 of those tackles came in his last eleven games.  He had a three game interception streak Weeks 13-15 along with recording seven tackles in the playoff loss to San Diego.  As a returner, Griffin returned 18 kicks for 422 yards.  I’d say the future is pretty bright for Michael Griffin. 

20. NY Giants – Aaron Ross, CB Texas
Griffin’s Texas teammate has a bright future as well.  He had 42 tackles and 3 INTs in the regular season and showed improvement in the playoffs.

21. Jacksonville (from Denver) – Reggie Nelson, S Florida
Reggie Nelson had an outstanding rookie season recording 62 tackles and one sack while picking off five passes.  Great pick for Jacksonville.

22. Cleveland (from Dallas) – Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame
With the emergence of Derek Anderson, one has to wonder if the Browns are regretting sending this year’s draft pick to Dallas for Brady Quinn.  I can see this situation playing out like San Diego’s (Brees-Rivers).
 

23. Kansas City – Dwayne Bowe, WR LSU
Outstanding choice for a team desperate for playmakers.  Bowe caught 70 passes for 995 yards and 5 TDs.  Bowe is a big, strong receiver that should continue to shine.  He had four games of 7+ receptions, a 164 yard performance against San Diego, and a game clinching TD against Minnesota.

24. New England (from Seattle) – Brandon Meriweather, S Miami
Meriweather was a nice fit for New England recording 28 tackles.  The Patriots are grooming him to replace Rodney Harrison.

25. Carolina (from NY Jets) – Jon Beason, LB Miami
Beason has a great rookie season recording 140 tackles.  Not quite Patrick Willis numbers, but considering how much more affordable Beason was, you can’t blame Panther fans for loving this guy.  He also added an INT.

26. Dallas (from Philadelphia) – Anthony Spencer, DE Purdue
Spencer had a decent year for the ‘Boys recording 36 tackles and three sacks.  His best game came against Buffalo when he had eight tackles.  There were too many games that he had zero or one tackle.

27. New Orleans – Robert Meachem, WR Tennessee
Meachem was inactive every game this season.  Sweet pick thus far.  Hopefully he shows up in better shape and avoids injury next year.

28. San Francisco 49ers (from New England) – Joe Staley, OT Central Michigan
Staley may be decent, but New England got the 7th pick this year (and a 4th round pick that turned into Randy Moss) by dealing this slot away.  Not too bad.  San Francisco’s offense was horrible last year.  Staley doesn’t take all the blame.  He may end up being good, but it will be hard to climb out of the shadow of the trade.  He did start all 16 games last year.

29. Baltimore – Ben Grubbs, OG Auburn
Ben started 12 games for the Ravens.  Baltimore allowed 39 sacks last year, ranked 16th in rushing offense, and 23rd in passing offense.  Part of a good, young line.

30. San Diego – Craig Davis, WR LSU
Davis caught 20 passes for 188 yards and a score.  His best game came against Green Bay when he hauled in 4 passes for 31 yards and his lone TD.  He did have a couple of catches in the playoffs, but with Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson, Gates, and LT, there doesn’t seem to be much room for Davis. 

31. Chicago – Greg Olsen, TE Miami (FL)
Although he looks like a big “Stiffler”, his game is no joke.  He finished with 39 receptions for 391 yards and a pair of scores.  He had a stretch from Weeks 5-8 he had 227 yards (56.75 average) and a pair of scores.  He has a ton of potential, but Chicago needs to figure out their horrible QB situation.

32. Indianapolis – Anthony Gonzalez, WR Ohio State
Gonzalez was limited to 13 games last year, but still had 576 yards on 37 receptions with 3 TDs.  He had 369 yards from Week 12-16 (73.8 average) while scoring all of his TDs.  He had four grabs for 79 yards and a score in their playoff loss to San Diego.  With some guy name Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, I expect great things from Gonzalez.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

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Photo Courtesy of Shelly Castellano ICON SMI 

Need some help with your fantasy hockey team?  You’ve come to the right place.  Try these hot players on for size. 

Center
Tyler Arnason
- After scoring 13 points in his first thirty-four games (.38 per game), Tyler has matched that 13 in his last twelve games (1.08).  He has scored multiple points in four of his last eight games.

Winger
Petr Sykora 
 - Though his name may be missing an “e”, his game has not being missing its “O” as he’s been a force lately.  He has 9 points in his last seven games (1.29).  He’s been solid all year (32 points in his first 50 games – 0.64 average), but lately he’s been tearing it up.  He recently had a six game scoring streak snapped.

Defenseman
Brian Campbell - Here’s another guy who’s been playing well all year (33 points in his first fifty games – 0.66 average), that has stepped up his game.  He has 8 points in his last seven games (1.14).  He has scored at least 40 points in each of the past three seasons, and is on pace to break his career high of 48 recorded last year.

Goalie
Olaf Kolzig - It’s getting harder to bring you blue line special goalies, but Olaf is my guy this week.  In his past games he went 5-2 after going 15-16 in his first thirty-four.  His season GAA is 3.00 with a save percentage of 88.7%.  Those numbers have been improved by the 2.34 GAA and 90.6% he’s produced in his past five games. 

Friday Tidbits 2/15/08

15 February 2008

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Jason Kidd messed around and got his 99th career triple-double.  It was his third one against Charlotte this year.  The next time he gets one it will likely be in Dallas following his trade for Devin Harris and others.  Not so fast.  Devean George threw a monkey wrench in the deal.  Lamar Odom has a triple-double in a win over the Timberpuppies.  Carlos Boozer joined the triple-double party in a win over lowly Seattle.  The Celtics beat Minnesota on the road.  Too bad for Wovles fans that KG wasn’t able to suit up.  Carmelo Anthony scored 49 points in a win over Washington.  He went to Syracuse.  Stephon Marbury will miss the rest of the year with an ankle injury.  Sacramento’s Francisco Garcia has a bad back that will keep him on the shelf until after the All-Star Game.  Rasheed Wallace will replace KG in the All-Star Game.  You hate to wish ill-will on somebody, but it’s kind of funny that Latrell Sprewell, who turned down a three-year, $21 million deal because it was insulting, may lose his home to foreclosure.  I know he had a family to feed, but that had to be one of the biggest overestimations the sport has ever witnessed  Larry Hughes scored 40 in a win over Orlando.  The NBA has denied Dwight Howard’s request to raise the rim to 12 feet during the dunk contest.  Don’t they realize that the contest is lame, and this would give fans something to be excited about.  Fools.  Howard responded to recent Stan Van Gundy criticism with 23 points and 24 rebounds in a win over Denver.  Emeka Okafor joined him in the 20-20 club with 21 points and 20 boards.  Manu Ginobili scored 46 in a win over Cleveland.  Miami has lost 24 of 25.  Kobe hurt his pinkie.  It requires surgery, but he’s going to try and gut it out.

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San Jose’s Jonathan Cheechoo netted a hat trick against Nashville.  Ottawa’s Jason Spezza matched him in a win over Montreal.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek joined the hat party against Ottawa.  This week’s shutouts: NY Ranger’s Stephen Valiquette vs. Philly.  Buffalo’s Ryan Miller vs. Toronto.  Detroit’s Dan Cleary will miss over a month with a broken jaw.  Carolina’s Richard Zednik had his throat slashed by a teammate’s skate.  He alertly went to his bench to seek medical attention from his trainer.  Dallas signed W Krys Barch to a two-year deal.  Carolina sent F Cory Sillman and D Mike Commodore to Ottawa for F Patrick Eaves and D Joe Corvo.  Edmonton lost D Sheldon Souray for the year with a shoulder injury.  Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers agreed to a six-year deal.  Washington signed LW Tomas Fleischmann to a two-year deal.


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The Mariners finally made the trade with Baltimore for Erik Bedard.  I think Clemens and Favre make up their minds on retirement quicker than this deal got finalized.  Kevin Foulke signed a one-year deal with the A’s.  I’m still thankful that Foulke helped Reverse the Curse.  I hope he does well in Oaktown.  San Francisco signed Kevin Correia to a one-year deal.  Milwaukee picked up manager Ned Yost’s option for 2009.  The Big Schill received a cortisone shot in his shoulder.  The Red Sox signed Kevin Youkilis to a one-year deal worth $3 million.  What a bargain.  Mike Sweeney signed with the A’s. Tony Clark signed with San Diego.  Steve Trachsel signed a one-year deal with Baltimore.  Doug Mientkiewicz signed a Minor League contract with Pittsburgh.  Garrett Atkins signed a one-year deal with Colorado.  John Rocker said Bud Selig knew he was jucing in 2000.  Texas signed Kevin Mench to a minor league deal.  Livan Hernandez signed a one-year deal with the Twins.  That’s different for them.  Usually they sign a bunch of stiffs.  The Dodgers signed Takashi Saito to a one-year deal.  Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee met with the Fools on the Hill.  He said, He said, blah blah, blah.  I’m bored with it. 


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The NFC beat the AFC in the Pro Bowl.  Adrian Peterson won the MVP.  He had 129 yards and two TDs.  Brian Urlacher had neck surgery.  Carolina signed DT Damione Lewis to a three-year deal. Washington finally named Jim Zorn their new head coach.  Carolina cut Dan Morgan and Mike Wahle.  The Dolphins cut Trent Green (just retire for your own health) and Marty Booker.  Jeff Feagles signed a two-year deal with the Giants.  Minnesot’s Kenechi Udeze had been diagnose with Leukemia. Jacksonville re-signed Greg Jones.  Justin Fargas re-signed with Oakland.  Miami release Zach Thomas.  Why do I see him catching on in New England?  Seattle signed Mike Wahle to a five-year deal.  Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, Antonio Pierce was charged with neglecing his pit bull.  If only he had called Michael Vick for advice.

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UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough scored 39 points in a dramatic 103-93 Double OT game win over Clemson. Louisville beat #6 Georgetown 59-51.  Purdue upset #8 Wisconsin 72-67.  #21 Notre Dame beat #16 Marquette 86-83.  Washington knocked off #4 UCLA 71-61.  LSU fired coach John Brady.  #11 Texas beat #3 Kansas 72-69.  #23 Purdue beat #9 Michigan State 60-54.  Kelvin Sampson and Indiana are in some hot water for recruiting violations.  To add insult to injury, #14 Wisconsin beat his #12 Hoosiers 68-66.  Southern Illinois handed #15 Drake its second loss of the year 65-62.  #17 UConn beat #18 Notre Dame 84-78.  Texas Tech upset #22 Kansas State 84-75.  Adding insult to injury part deux, Missouri kicked Stefhon Hannah off the team after being involved in a brawl that left him with a broken jaw.  Arizona State knocked off #7 Stanford 72-68.

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Charlie Weis will let Offensive Coordinator Mike Haywood call the plays next year.  Penn State kicked Chris Bell and Phillip Taylor off the team.  West Virginia kicked John Holmes, James Ingram, and Ed Collington off the team.  Washington State signed Coach Paul Wulff to a five-year deal.  Indiana’s ugly basketball scandal wasn’t the only sour sports moment in Bloomington.  Football players James Bailey, Demetrius McCray, and Darius Johnson were arrested last weekend.  Tennessee sent Antonio Wardlow and Dorian Davis packing for breaking rules.  Florida State’s cheating scandal earned them two years off self-imposed probation.  

 

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 First I’m going to do my part to help Save the Hall of Fame Game.   If you think a tradition that dates back seventy years is important, then Sign the Petition. OK, on to the matter at hand.

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Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

He came up just short as a player and never finished better than third as a manager, however I think Jimmie Dykes’ involvement in the game of baseball for parts of six decades merits his inclusion in Cooperstown.  He had 2256 hits to go along with his 1406 managerial victories joining Fred Clakre and Joe Torre as the only managers to have over 2200 hits and 1400 victories.  Dykes’ 1406 victories places him 23rd on the all-time list.

As a player he racked up 2256 hits (139th All-time), scored 1108 runs (222nd), had 453 doubles (78th), 90 triples, 108 home runs, 1071 RBI (201st), 115 Hit by Pitch (42nd) with a .280 batting average and a .399 slugging percentage.  He was an All-Star in 1933 & 1934 and received MVP votes in 1922, 1927, and 1936.  His top ten finishes include On-base % (twice), Slugging %, OPS, Games (3 times), Doubles, Triples, Home Runs (twice), Walks, and Hit by Pitch (13 times).

Although he didn’t have the success at manager, he did win two World Series with the Athletics in 1929 & 1930.  He hit .421 in the 1929 games.  In 18 World Series games he had 17 hits (.288), 6 runs, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 11 RBI, and 11 walks.

His life was baseball.  He did it well for 22 seasons as a player and 22 as a manager.  He may be under the radar, but I think his longevity and his contributions to the game merit a spot in Cooperstown.

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Gold Rush Part Deux

14 February 2008

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Exit Stage Left?
Photo Courtesy of Icon SMI 

Not since 1849 has the West witnessed a rush like this.  It started with Pau Gasol migrating to Los Angeles.  Shaq followed his trail, but got tired and set up camp in  Phoenix.  It looked as if Jason Kidd’s journey would end with a return to Dallas.  We’ll have to see if Dallas and New Jersey can either work out a new deal or convince Devean George to allow the trade.  So much for Kevin Garnett doing his part to balance the powers of the conferences. 

So what would Dallas get in this deal?  They would get a hard-nosed point guard who can set teammates up better than anyone not named Steve Nash.  He can also rebound with the best of them out of the Point Guard position.  Hebrings toughness to a team that has clearly lacked it in recent years.  Dallas has plenty of scorers in Dirk, Josh Howard, and Jason Terry.  Jason Kidd wouldn’t upset anybody by shooting too often.  He’s one of the few players in the league who can control a game without taking a single shot.  He would instantly upgrade their ball movement, fast breaks, and defensive pressure.  Los Angeles and Phoenix took the first shots.  Dallas tried to answer back.  Yet, San Antonio has done nothing to bolster their team.  Their main goal is to get Tony Parker healthy.  Once that happens they will likely be the team to beat in the West despite all of the new, expensive toys the other conference powers are showing off. 

I’ll have to hand it to Dallas if they can get this deal done.  They would be taking a shot.  Sure, they would be sending draft picks and expiring contracts, which in a sense is mortgaging their future.  However, they realize the time is now, and want to take a run at it before their window closes.  As far as the present, I don’t think they would be giving up too much.  Devin Harris is good, but Kidd is a big upgrade.  Stackhouse is decent, but replaceable.  DeSagana Diop is whatever.  Devean George is merely a road block to this deal. He wasn’t doing anything to help the team on the court.  He asked for a trade so he could get more minutes.  Then he objects.  You have 29 games left.  You have a much better chance to showcase your talent with New Jersey than Dallas.   

Time will tell if Dallas can get their guy.  What we already know is the Wild Wild West has spoken.  If you want to beat the best (Spurs) you better come with all guns blazing.

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA |

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