2013 MLB:At the Halfway Mark: All Star Rosters+Playoff Projections

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Here are the updated projections:

AL East
Boston (91)

AL Central
Detroit (92)

AL West
Texas (91)

Oakland (89)
NYY (85)

NL East
Atlanta (91)

NL Central
St Louis (92)

NL West
Arizona (84)

Pittsburgh (91)
Cincinnati (89)

Here's my final selection for All Star Game Rosters. 

Each league has 34 players.  There have to be at least 5 starters/3 relievers for each league.  Each league had 13 active pitchers last year, so I'll make that my target; I still wouldn't ever have an all star roster with more than 3 relievers although you'll see double that in the actual game.  Both leagues use a DH.  Every team needs to be represented. 

The WAR is B-Ref+Davenport. 

AL Starters
C J. Mauer Min 3.6
1B C.Davis Balt 4.3
2B D. Pedroia Bos 3.3
SS J.Peralta Det 2.5
3B M.Cabrera Det 4.5 - MVP
LF N.McLouth Bal 2.2
CF M.Trout LAA 3.8
RF S.Victorino Bos 2.1
DH E.Encarnacion Tor 2.6
P C.Buchholz Bos 3.8

AL Reserves
C C. Santana Cle 2.1
1B A.Lind Tor 2
2B J.Kipnis Cle 3.1
2B R.Cano NYY 2.5
SS JJ Hardy Min 2
3B M.Machado Balt 4.2
3B E.Longoria TB 3.9
3B J.Donaldson Oak 3
OF C.Crisp Oak 2.6
OF J.Ellsbury Bos 2.4
OF A.Gordon KC 1.9
DH D.Ortiz Bos 2.4

P H.Iwakuma Sea 3.6
P F.Hernandez 3.4
P C.Sale CWS 3.3
P M.Scherzer Det 3.2
P B.Colon Oak 2.9
P H.Kuroda NYY 2.9
P Y.Darvish Tex 2.7
P A.Sanchez Det 2.7
P B.Norris Hou 2.3

RP M.Rivera NYY 2.1
RP J. Nathan Tex 2.1
RP T.Scheppers Tex 2.3

NL Starters
C Y.Molina StL 4.1
1B P. Goldschmidt Ari 4.3
2B M.Carpenter StL 3.7
SS J.Segura Mil 4.6 MVP
3B D.Wright NYM 4.2
LF C.Gonzalez Col 3.6
CF C. Gomez Mil 4.3
RF G.Parra Ari 3.4
DH H.Pence SFG 3.4
P C.Kershaw LAD 4.7

NL Reserves
C B.Posey SFG 3.6
C R.Martin LAD 3
1B J.Votto Cin 3.4
2B C. Utley Phi 2.3
SS T.Tulowitzki Col 3.9
SS E.Cabrera SD 3.7
SS A.Simmons Atl 2.5
3B P.Alvarez Pit 2.4
OF S.Marte Pit 2.7
OF A.McCutcheon Pit 2.9
OF J.Bruce Cin 2.7
OF SS Choo Cin 2.4

P M.Harvey NYM 4.4
P C.Lee Phi 4.2
P A.Wainwright StL 3.8
P J.Zimmerman Was 3.5
P P.Corbin Ari 3.4
P T.Wood Chi 3.2
P. J. De la Rosa Col 2.8
P M.Leake Cin 2.7
P J.Fernandez Mia 1.8

RP C. Kimbrel Atl 2.3
RP J.Grilli Pit 1.8
RP M. Melancon Pit 1.7

Top 100 NFL Players of 2013 #10-1

Friday, June 28, 2013

20-11 is here.
NFL Net List

10. P.Willis ILB San Francisco (in my top ten)
9. V.Miller OLB Denver (in my top ten)
8. A. Foster RB Houston (my #11)
7. A.Smith DE San Francisco (my #61)
6. A.Rodgers QB Gren Bay (in my top 10)
5. JJ Watt DE Houston (in my top 10)
4. T.Brady QB NEngland (in my top 10)
3. C. Johnson WR Detroit (in my top 10)
2. P.Manning QB Denver (my #17)
1. A.Peterson RB Minnesota (in my top 10)

My List
10. R.Clady T Denver
9. C.Matthews OLB GBay
8. P.Willis ILB San Francisco
7. G.Atkins DT Cincinnati
6. V.Miller OLB Denver
5. A.Peterson RB Minnesota
4. C.Johnson WR Detroit
3. JJ Watt DE Houston
2. T.Brady QB NEngland
1. A.Rodgers QB GBay

My Complete List (I'd replace #99)
1.       A. Rodgers QB GB
2.       T. Brady QB NE
3.       JJ. Watt DE Houston
4.       C. Johnson WR Detroit
5.       A. Peterson RB Minnesota
6.       V. Miller OLB Denver
7.       G. Atkins DT Cincinnati
8.       P. Willis ILB San Francisco
9.       C. Matthews OLB GBay
10.   R. Clady T Denver
11.   A. Foster RB Houston
12.   J.Smith DE San Francisco
13.   J. Allen DE Minnesota
14.   L. Kuechly ILB Carolina
15.   V. Wilfork DT New England
16.   D. Brees QB NO
17.   P. Manning QB Denver
18.   E. Manning QB NYG
19.   R. Rice RB Baltimore
20.   A. Johnson WR Houston
21.   L. Fitzgerald WR Arizona
22.   M. Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville
23.   AJ Green WR Cincinnati
24.   J. Jones WR Atlanta
25.   L. Mankins G NE
26.   P. Peterson CB Arizona
27.   T. Cole OLB Philadelphia
28.   T. Hali OLB Kansas City
29.   D. Thomas WR Denver
30.   BJ Raji DT Green Bay
31.   H. Ngata DT Baltimore
32.   N. Suh DT Detroit
33.   D. Ware DE Dallas
34.   R. Sherman CB Seattle
35.   B. Marshall WR Chicago
36.   B. Roethlisberger QB Pittsburgh
37.   J. Charles RB KC
38.   M. Roos T Tennessee
39.   D. Johnson ILB KC
40.   N. Bowman ILB San Francisco
41.   M. Ryan QB Atlanta
42.   C. Wake DE Miami
43.   J. Evans G NO
44.   L. McCoy RB Philadelphia
45.   D. Dockett DT Arizona
46.   M. Lynch RB Seattle
47.   L. Timmons ILB Pittsburgh
48.   R. Okung T Seattle
49.   T. Suggs OLB Baltimore
50.   Ma. Pouncey C Pittsburgh
51.   B. Cushing ILB Houston
52.   J. Joseph CB Houston
53.   J. Haden CB Cleveland
54.   V. Cruz WR NYG
55.   E. Thomas S Seattle
56.   J. Peppers DE Chicago
57.   R. White WR Atlanta
58.   R. Wayne WR Indianapolis
59.   A. Luck QB Indianapolis
60.   T. Polamalu S Pittsburgh
61.   A. Smith OLB San Francisco
62.   M. Wilkerson DE NYJ
63.   J. Graham TE NO
64.   C. Tillman CB Chicago
65.   E. Weddle S San Diego
66.   J. Flacco QB Baltimore
67.   Robert Griffin QB Washington
68.   Colin Kaepernick QB San Francisco
69.   D. Revis CB Tampa
70.   N. Mangold C NYJ
71.   A. Mack C Cleveland
72.   C. Campbell DE Arizona
73.   S.Smith WR Carolina
74.   V. Jackson WR Tampa
75.   R. Kalil C Carolina
76.   C. Long DE St.Louis
77.   L. Briggs OLB Chicago
78.   A. Brooks OLB San Francisco
79.   R. Gronkowski TE New England
80.   D. Washington ILB Arizona
81.   W. Welker WR Denver
82.   J. Nelson WR GBay
83.   J. Babineaux DT Atlanta
84.   C. Bailey CB Denver
85.   S. Weatherspoon OLB Atlanta
86.   J. Thomas T Cleveland
87.   J.Pierre-Paul DE NYG
88.   F. Gore RB San Francisco
89.   D. Brown T Houston
90.   T. Gonzalez TE Atlanta
91.   I. Taylor CB Pittsburgh
92.   B. Flowers CB Kansas City
93.   M. Yanda T Baltimore
94.   D. Bryant WR Dallas
95.   J. Long T StL
96.   J. Ratliff DT Dallas
97.   C. Nicks G Tampa
98.   C. Myers C Houston
99.   A. Hernandez TE New England
100.                        CJ Spiller RB Buffalo

1992 NBA Draft Recap

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Knicks got Rolando Blackman for their first round pick – in 1995; Hubie loves it for the Knicks, the time value of shooting guards and whatnot. Let’s see how that turned out:

Blackman had the two worst seasons of his career in New York, 5 total win shares out then out of the league before that ’95 pick even rolled through.

Dallas used the pick to draft Loren Meyer, a sub 1 win share player in Dallas; so, player for player, absent cap considerations not discussed on the broadcast, the Knicks managed to get the better end. 

Shaq goes first in ’92; as of the end of the 2012-13 season, considering overall Win Shares for the regular season/playoffs and factoring in a per game value, Shaq’s the 8th greatest player in history.  The crowd in 
Portland boos Shaq’s mention of Christian Laettner when discussing his not making the Dream Team.
Mourning goes second, to Charlotte, and he’s also in the Top 100 of all time, at #94. He isn’t, however, second from this draft in regular season win shares – I’ll give the answer at the end of the recap.

Mourning’s got a cheat sheet with Charlotte’s roster when talking to Craig Sager in the kiss and cry area; “looking forward to learning from Kenny Gattison” wasn’t part of the interview.  Laettner’s third; not there, gets booed anyway.

I loved me some Jimmy Jackson; I saw him play in high school and availability bias probably had me overrate him.  I still think those oversized shiny Arsenio early 90s suits look good.  LaPhonso Ellis’s mama, I assume, is wearing her big white church hat.  She oughta pray that his best season isn’t his first; a full quarter of his career value accrued in that rookie year. 

The Bullets are about to pick Gugliotta and at the beginning of his third year are going to trade him to my Warriors, for whom he’ll earn less than a win share.  C-Webb, dealt for him, was worth 23.5 for Washington.  Not great, Nellie.

Todd Day’s next; he doesn’t hit 20 win shares for his career, he’s a legitimate bust. 

I thought I’d look at other drafts to see how deeply I’d have to go to find another top 10 pick with fewer than 20 win shares; it just took one click, Marc Macon went the year before and retired with less than 1 win share (WTF is a very good podcast, however, so there are second acts in American life). That’s a good game – win shares above/below draft slot.

In fact, a more detailed look could average win shares by draft slot – I’d like to know how many wins a top overall pick should be worth in his NBA career. 

Hubie Brown calls Clarence Weatherspoon “a man” while the Miami Vice theme weirdly accompanies him to the stage.  “They got some great staffs and stuff” is Spoon’s characterization of the Sixers.

There apparently is a big debate in Atlanta among Keefe, Stith, and Miner – which hardly seems worth the effort.  Hubie wants them to take one of the guards; they’re not going to listen to him and it’s not going to matter (but Baby Jordan is the worst of the 3).

Houston’s about to take who turns out to be the 4th best player in this draft, but they don’t know that yet and the announce, expecting Miner or Stith, is really surprised for the first time.  No one calls Horry Big Shot Bob.

Doug Collins forgets that Adam Keefe just went off the board and wants to see the Heat take him; Bob Neal says there are concerns that Miner plays out of control sometimes, but so does Isiah, and he turned out okay.  Future CBA stakeholders mutter an unknowing disagreement. Miner’s mother thinks she’s crying now; when he’s back home after his 200 game NBA career she’ll really be crying.  Sager’s trying to get into Miner’s pocket, asking how he plans to help his home of south central LA following the Rodney King riots.  

What he should have said, “bitch, you’re getting paid; let’s get out your checkbook.”

Sager’s obsessed with hometowns, asking Malik Sealy if he’ll “miss his people back in the Bronx.”  Don’t be fooled by the rocks that he’s got, Craig.

I like Woods, because he gives them quickness.  This guy’s got a nice package of a game. 
Hubie, about Randy Woods.  He’ll be a sub 1 career win shares player.

Doug Christie says the man upstairs controls what happens to his knee, “What does that man want with you – how much time are you spending with that man; give me his number, I want to talk to him” is the response from Mrs. Christie.

Second in regular season WS from the '92 draft?  PJ Brown.   

Bonds 73.

2013 NBA Draft - If I Picked the Lottery

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not a prediction; it's who I'd pick were I the GM for each team.

1. Cleveland C UK Nerlens Noel
Need a wing, but Noel's probably the best player by year 3. You've heard this isn't a very good draft; you've heard correctly. If I'm Cleveland, I don't hate the idea that Noel's a rotation guy next year and I'm back with a high lottery pick next season.

2. Orlando PG/SG Lehigh CJ McCollum
Need a guard who can fill it up; he's top non Noel on my board.

3. Washington SF George Otto Porter
Local, a need, and best available. I think Cavs go Noel; Orlando almost certainly doesn't pick McCollum, but this looks like an easy prediction.

4. Charlotte PF Indiana Cody Zeller
Everything's a need, Zeller's a high floor guy; maybe the highest floor in the draft.  That doesn't mean he's anything more than a competent rotation guy necessarily, but that's the draft we have.

5. Phoenix PF UNLV Anthony Bennett
Another high floor guy; he probably doesn't get past this spot.

6. New Orleans  SG Georgia Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
No chance he goes ahead of McLemore/Oladipo; those two guys are going in the top 6- but here's a vote that he's the better pro or at least the pro more likely not to bust.

7. Sacramento C Lucas Nogueira C Brazil
If this is me, I pair this with a Cousins trade for a point guard.

8. Detroit PG Trey Burke Michigan
Dying for a PG, Burke might be just a backup but he's probably a good backup.

9. Minnesota SF Segey Karasev Russia
They need a scorer - here's one.

10. Portland SG Victor Oladipo Indiana
He isn't getting out of the top 6, but I like he and McLemore closer to the bottom of the lottery.  Alex Len isn't on my board.

11. Philadelphia SG Ben McLemore Kansas
And here's McLemore.

12. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams Pitt
Might even be who actually gets picked

13. Dallas PG Michael Carter Williams Syracuse
Might actually be who gets picked

14. Utah PG Pierre Jackson Baylor
Might actually...

Athlete of the Month, June 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

May was here.

Patrick Kane.  Runners-up: Serena Williams, Yasel Puig, LeBron James

Six Months Down
Jan - Colin Kaepernick
Feb - Joe Flacco
Mar - LeBron James
April - Justin Upton

May-Clayton Kershaw
June - Patrick Kane

NBA Draft Recaps: 1993, 95, 96, 98

I love old NBA drafts; when time permits, I like to watch a few during draft season and offer commentary.  Sometimes there are jokes, but I'm not as funny as was I before all the juice was squeezed from my brain by a draconian courseload. 

Can someone please remind me that Draconian Courseload is a good fantasy football name?  And Fromage a Trois.  I will forget.

1993 draft
The 1993 draft was in the Palace – they treated Webber, who was leaving Michigan early after that supposedly life altering time out call, like he were Alcindor graduating after three titles. I don't know what Webber's current relationship is with Detroit, but there he was, headed out the door after only two years in school as a national lightning rod who theoretically blew the title game, and the crowd went bankers for him.

That Webber trade is coming for my Golden St. Warriors.  I'm a Warriors fan.  I'll take whatever level of condolence you feel is appropriate.  

CWebb Win Shares, regular season+playoffs with GSW = 8
Penny with Orlando = 52.6

Hell of a trade, Nellie.

I loved both of them, full disclosure; but we had Timmy coming off his age 26 season running the point, Mullin, Spree, Marciulionis all on the perimeter.  Billy Owens was only 23, too early to call a bust – so looking at:
PF Webber
SF Owens
PG Hardaway
SG Mullin
…with the kid Sprewell off the bench, or more likely we go small and play Owens at the 4 and Webber at the 5; we’re just going to run it up and down the floor.  I was 22 in the summer before my second year of law school during the 1993 NBA Draft; in the dying days of what, to that point, was the most significant relationship of my life and I was investing all of my emotional hopes into sports.  The 49ers were in their late dynasty; the Giants had the best record in baseball at the All-Star Break led by a decidedly un-PED aided best player in baseball by a billion miles Barry Bonds, and I was convinced GSW was about to join the party and CWebb was going to be the piece that put us over the top.

But Sarunus got moved and then Hardaway got hurt, and Mullin’s off year the season previous turned out not to be a blip but the beginning of his decline (he lost half his value between ages 28 and 29).  Owens just never progressed at all;   Webber was strong, 8 Win Shares, same as Spree – it’s less the trade during the ’93 draft that kills us than the one the next year with the Bullets.  The Giants won a hundred three games but didn't make the playoffs; I didn't much like law school and would like being a lawyer less, the Niners won one last Super Bowl and have spent the past fifteen+ years paying for the previous decade of success.  And I got all kinds of dumped in '94, "I sort of met someone else, so...." dumped.  

I blame Nellie for all of that too.  

I’d like to do a search for “checkered past” and “nba draft” – as Bob Neal just hung that phrase on JR Rider (who, a few minutes later, called himself a “perfect man in society” right before predicting victory in the slam dunk contest).    

I did the search.  9900 results.  For example:

Jamar Smith, the former Illinois player, has gone through so much more. In 2007, he crashed a car into a tree while driving under the influence and eventually left the scene of the accident -- with his teammate unconscious in the vehicle. Smith was dismissed from the Illini months later for continuing to use alcohol.

Not for leaving an unconscious teammate in the car?  Jesus - next time you hear Bruce Weber on some crappy coaches show talk about team being the most important thing in Illinois ask how many teammates you have to leave for dead before they ask you to turn in your meal card.

Lee Benson
College: Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) | Ht: 6-11
2001-02 Stats: 35 ppg | 13.6 rpg
Andy Katz's take: Benson is an intriguing draft pick. He's older, has a checkered past that he's trying to recover from (spent eight years in prison before arriving at Brown Mackie),

8 years in the house!  Maybe we need to tighten up the phrase “checkered past.”

"Hey, mom - I'd like you to meet the new fella in my life; his name's Joel - sure, he's got a bit of a checkered past..."


Craig Sager’s blowing Bobby Hurley nice and sweet like.  When you hear someone like Jalen Rose talk about hating the Dukies back in the day.  Interviews like this are why.  

Bobby Hurley just plays so hard every minute on the floor.
Bobby Hurley just wins, everywhere he goes.  Junior high.  High school.  College.  Everywhere he goes. He’s so dreamy.  Like a basketball playing Joey McIntyre. Only guy on the Dream Team who could guard him in those scrimmage games was Jordan.  In fact, if Jordan ever retires early under mysterious circumstances to go play minor league baseball - it's almost certainly not some type of gambling related vanishing - it's fear.  Banana yellow stripe running down his back.  'Cause he don't want none of Bobby Hurley


Kendall Gill’s a restricted free agent in Charlotte, to Doug Collins that means “he’s got them in a very difficult spot.”  Good class consciousness there, Doug.  Way not to forget from whence you came.

"NBA Draft" + "whence" = 33,000 hits.    

Hubie describes Greg Graham: “he can score big points in big bunches in big games.”

Career WS – 1.3, in just a little over 200 games, none of them big enough, presumably.

“Gheorghe does not speak English” from the podium after Muresan was selected. 
And he never learned.  

1995 draft

I hate Joe Smith.  My apologies to those who care for him.

Sager asks him what it means to be picked first overall.

“It’s a great accomplishment for myself.”

Know what else would be a great accomplishment?  More than 13 WS with GSW. 

Question: Who was the best number one overall pick ever for the team that picked him?  

Make your selection.  Go.  I'll wait.

Okay, here are your options:

Baylor  129.6 WS in 980 games, all with the Lakers. 
Oscar – 148 WS with Cincinnati in about 700 games. 

“They say emotionally he may not be ready, but what sophomore in college is ready? – Pitino about Rasheed Wallace.  15 years later he might have said something like "They say emotionally he may not be ready, but what 35 year old father of four is ready?'

Kareem – 123.4 WS with Bucks in a little over 500 games.

Jesus God – Kareem with the Bucks; he’s far enough behind that you’d take Oscar, but Kareem with only the Bucks had almost as much value as Baylor his whole career.  Kareem with just the Bucks would be one of the Top 50 players of all time.  That’s how good Kareem was.  Kareem with just the Lakers played about 1200 games and had 185.6 WS;  that would put him in the top 20 of all time.  Kareem with just the Lakers has about the same value as Olajuwon; he did it in 300 more games, so you’d take Hakeem – but that’s still more WS than Kobe, although a tick fewer than Magic and West, if you’re thinking about the greatest Lakers ever.  Kareem – good enough for 2 spots in the 50 greatest players of all time.

Reeves went next, I racial profiled him hard before this draft, like he pulled out a sajjāda at a LaGuardia terminal.  My animus proved correct given the 13 Win Shares Reeves accrued during his career.  Stu Jackson called him “BC” – taking his nickname “Big Country” – and turning it into another nickname.  That’s the kind of executive decision that gave Stu his next career.

Lanier’s at about a hundred WS for the Pistons.

Magic’s your new leader, for those of you playing at home, 188.4, all with the Lakers, in about 1100 games.

Olajuwon’s got 185.4, almost 1400 games; David Robinson at 196.19 in about 1120 games passes Magic; of the articles of faith I’d like you to accept if you aren’t familiar with basketball metrics – David Robinson was better than you think, about the same value as Bill Russell. 

And you think he’s going to win our little competition – but then comes Duncan. And he's your winner.  

“Fortunately for me I’m watching TV one night, Benny Dees is in the playoffs and Frankie King is throwing up a storm."
You know how occasionally someone says “okay, living or dead, what’s your ideal 4 person dinner party?” or some much hypothetical.

From now on, mine includes Hubie Brown. 

1996 draft

Starts at end of 1995 draft, ‘cause its impossible for NBA TV to cut these drafts in a way that fits a TV schedule, with Hubie saying about Don Reid “a lot of teams liked his package” – and we’re off.

’95 was the Joe Smith draft; I made a talk radio phone call about it, I think to Pete Franklin; my argument was it didn't matter who my GSW picked, it would be a mistake.

Smith was a Warrior for 200 games, earning 13 Win Shares. 

Hey, NBA TV has added some new graphics; I was just told that Iverson won the Rookie of the Year; that’s the first time, to my knowledge, there’s been new content in any of these old drafts.  I’m entirely in favor.  Unless they start telling pop up video like jokes, as that’s my beat.
’96 was still the era of big suits; Craig Sager and Iverson are both in oversized grey suits in the kiss and cry area.  Ernie Johnson, Jr. is your host, he reminded us of Don Reid being the last pick in ’95, as meaning that Hoyas have gone back-to-back. Hubie missed the opportunity to discuss his package.

Marcus Camby went second – I met him when doing the game show in 2000; I met Jack Sikma in a men’s room at O’Hare airport in 1985.  Who was the best basketball player Jim Jividen ever met?  Let’s go to the Win Shares videotape:

Camby’s played 960 games, regular season+playoffs and has 83.4 Win Shares.
Sikma played 1200 games, and had 120.4 Win Shares, that’s the 52nd highest combined total ever.  Sikma was better than Camby and remains the best ballplayer I ever met in a men's room.  Dude took a curiously wide stance.   I assume its being seven feet tall, no other stance one could take.  

Vecsey just told us who picks 3-5 were going to be; I don’t know who we blame for the inability of those covering drafts to keep their goddamn mouths shut, but we can’t watch an NFL draft anymore without watching the guy about to be picked on the phone beforehand.  I don’t want to know – why is it the NFL can tell ESPN to yank Playmakers but can’t tell them not to spoil who the Bills are about to take?  If Maria Menounos popped up on the Oscar telecast to say, "I've been talking to my sources inside Price-Waterhouse, here's who's about to win Best Live Action Short", my guess is Tom Shales would find that worthy of critique.  It's a draft - don't tell me who gets picked until they get picked.  

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Craig Sager almost took Stephon Marbury’s hat off; Marbury’s sobbing, just bawling about being the brother who finally busted through to the Association, and Sager reaches over, “can I take this off?” – and almost grabs the cap off Marbury’s head.  We’re a little more personal space sensitive in 2013, I think – if Simmons is yanking hats off this week I’d be surprised. 

Vecsey got the fifth pick wrong, he had Antoine Walker going to Minnesota, they took Ray Allen.   Allen was the best player in the ’96 draft.  Scott Hastings is breaking the Allen/Marbury deal – Vecsey corrects him about Allen’s destination, “I suspect it’s to Portland for Rod Strickland.” 

Who will be right???

Has Lorenzen Wright passed away?  Am I thinking about that correctly?  Yes.  In 1996 Ray Allen/Antoine Walker/Lorenzen Wright could not have more closely been at the same place at the same time; literally just five minutes apart. In 2013,  Ray Allen is absolutely one of the 50 best players in NBA history; Antoine Walker is bankrupt; Lorenzen Wright is dead.  That's how life works.  You ever want to explain how every moment is just a temporary, already fading as soon as you take it, snapshot in time - you talk about the 1996 NBA Draft.

Rick Pitino just said the Nets should pick Kerry Kittles instead of Kobe Bryant because John Calipari needs to win next year.  That’s the kind of foresight that might lead a man to bang his equipment manager’s future wife on the floor of a Louisville restaurant. 
How quickly was Kobe better than Kerry Kittles?
Rookie Year Win Shares: Kittles 6.9, Kobe 1.9
Year 2 WS:                      Kittles 10,   Kobe 6.5

And that was it.  Kittles got hurt in year 3 and Kobe went by him; come year four, Kobe was Kobe.

Right after the Allen for Marbury deal was made official (sorry, Pete), GSW  drafts Todd Fuller and not Kobe Bryant.

That’s my team!

Hubie:  You’d have to say the Warriors were very high.

He may have added “on Fuller” right after that, but my construction is more accurate.
As loud a sports radio campaign as I ever went on, they may have been the last sports radio calls I ever made, was against the idea that GSW should take Todd Fuller, who became the consensus “hey, we sure do need some bigs” choice as draft day neared.  It could be that the success of my loud "Bryant Reeves can't play" rants emboldened my Pat Buchanan like assault on the next big white, major conference stiff. I wish I could say I wanted us to take Bryant instead...

Oh, wait, I did.  Somewhere, perhaps there is a digital archive of about a dozen phone calls to various KNBR hosts in the spring of 1996 with an angry young lawyer fervently arguing that we should look beyond the seeming needs of today and swing for the fences.  I’m not always right. I thought David Robinson would bust and he did not.  But I was right about this.

Kobe called the NBA a “step up” from high school.
One hopes.

Peja, name given as “Predrag” goes after Kobe – Predrag has an LGBT connotation in 2013 that went unappreciated in 1996.  Sager asks if he likes Sacramento – Peja, from some war torn Baltic republic, is one of the few tonight who could honestly say yes.
Kid Canada thanks his junior high, and since he looks like a rising 9th grader, that makes sense.

Knicks fans chanting “We want Wallace” – as their unerring basketball savvy leads them to want John Wallace.  The Knicks have 3 of the next 4 picks; the broadcast is certain they can’t fail with whomever they pick.  It is an incredibly exciting time, apparently, to be a Knickerbocker.

18.  Wallace
19. “McCarty and Wallace could be projected late lottery picks.  I think the Knicks are doing great.” – Pitino
20. The Cavs take Ilguaskas.  EJ, Jr. says the Cavs now lead the league in syllables.  Heh.  Silly foreigners. 

John Wallace WS as a Knick = 1.6, career total = 6.3
McCarty WS as a Knick = 0, career total =15.1

21. Donate Jones = WS as a Knick=0, career total -.3

Ilgauskas – 63.3 as a Cav, 66.3 overall.  Syllables.  Funny, funny stuff.  


Vecsey once again gives us the first 5 picks before pick one.  Thanks Pete.  Way to break a story about the telecast you’re on.  Neil Patrick Harris should have opened season 4 of the next season of How I Met Your Mother by telling us who Ted wound up marrying.  

Michael Olowokandi owns the national hop step and jump records in Great Britain, thanks Hubie.
Let's hear from Clipper GM Elgin Baylor about his first overall pick “Olowokanda – problem with the name.”

When you mispronounce the name of your first overall pick, that probably doesn’t speak well for either of you.

His career WS was 2.3 in over 500 games played.  -.1 with the Clips.  Is he the worst player in NBA history?  Is there a worse combination of few WS and more games played?  Is the Kanda man the absolute worst basketball player in the history of the NBA?
Here’s where GSW made the Jamison for Carter trade, I liked them both coming out of school, like most people, at least judging from the broadcast team, I preferred Carter.
Jamison = 83.4WS, 25.3 in GSW
Carter = 108.9WS, 50.1 in Toronto

They won the trade.  Jamison was a good GSW and had a really good career; VC probably won’t make it, but he should go to the HOF.  100+ WS and 3 seasons over 10WS. 

Tractor Traylor goes next.  Career WS 13.6. RIP

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Sager asked Traylor’s grandmother where they went shopping for their clothes.  And asked Traylor why he wasn’t in better shape in college.  And hoped Traylor could stay off grandma's peach cobbler.    

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Larry Hughes little brother had a heart transplant which is why Hughes played college ball in St Louis; he died in 2006.

“Did you ever worry you wouldn’t make it through the operation?”  Sager said to a 12 year old boy on live television about a surgery he had when he was like 9 years old.  And he followed up with something like "and then you wouldn't have ever seen your brother again."  Like he was going for a Roy Firestone moment.  Then he yanked the hat clean off his head.

Dirk and Pierce, both Top 50 players ever, go back to back at 9-10.

Majerus about Doleac, picked 12th by Orlando “there’s a lot better players in the draft, I don’t think there’s a better kid.”

When your college coach is saying as you are drafted “there’s a lot better players in the draft” – and thinks he's paying you a compliment, that’s a stay away.

Doleac's career= 600 games 12.9 WS

“You make a deal with the devil” – Doc Rivers, John Thompson, Majerus, Hubie all think HS early entry is terrible idea.  Bad for the kids.  The kids!

To that point, 4 high schoolers had been drafted in the modern NBA under the current rules:

Garnett, he's going to the HOF
Jermaine O’Neal, WS=64.5 in 970 games; he's had Ilgauskas's career.  
Kobe, he's going to the  HOF
TMac 100+ WS, he won't make it, but he's a borderline HOF on the merits.
Rashard Lewis, who hadn't yet gone when they had this conversation, but went later in the evening=  right around 100 WS.
Now, Korleone Young sat around forever that night and he busts, not unlike Michael Doleac, who was, I'm told, a helluva good guy, so its error to say "every high school kid who enters the NBA Draft goes to the Hall of Fame," but its accurate to say "at the time these experts had their discussion, every high schooler who had been picked in the NBA Draft went on to have a fabulous, if not historic NBA career."

Okay - here's Dampier in his big red coat from '96.  Enjoy the draft.  Go Warriors.  Keep the faith.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

There are actors who are older than I am.

Courtney Cox is older than I am; Springsteen released Dancing in the Dark when I was 13.  Courtney Cox, dancing with Bruce in the video, was presumably not 13. That's because she's older than I am. 7 years older.

Her character on Cougar Town showed her driver's license in season two - she's still older than I am, but only two years older.

Her character has shaved five years from her age.  She's been youthanized.

Matthew Perry did this in Go On.  He is older than I am; his character, Ryan King, given college context clues, was younger.

Tina Fey did this in Admission; Tina Fey is older than I am - but her character had a baby in college three years after I graduated.

I don't begrudge actors their plastic surgery, but when you combine the ability to freeze their appearance in time with playing characters who shift their ages downward; someone has to call bullshit.

Because they're not just making them younger - as a consequence, they're making me older.

What was the biggest sin in the little person acting community according to Seinfeld (Jerry, you're also older than I am; just saying)?  Wearing lifts in your shoes.  It was heightening.

This is Youthanizing.  When an actor plays a character younger than the real age.  They're getting Youthanized.

Early Admission

On a recent episode of Todd Berry's podcast, Janeane Garafolo said the best day of her stint on Criminal Minds was the episode when they killed off her character.  She didn't like the show, for all the reasons that you shouldn't like those procedural shows that fill up the CBS primetime schedule.

I liked the idea of that - moments where the actor's interest and the character's interest are diametrically opposed.

Like what - like Dwight getting the Michael chair running the Scranton branch as The Office closed its run...because Rainn Wilson's spinoff wasn't picked up.  Good for character.  Bad for actor.

I'm calling this Early Admission; Glee dealt with Britney's graduating by failing her junior year (bad for the character...good for the actor) and when Heather Morris then got pregnant, she was "written out" (Matthew Morrison's own words, on Watch What Happens Live) by getting "early admission to MIT"

Early Admission; when the interests of actor/character are opposed.

Hope to Disabled Pensioners

My current favorite cultural trope is "my work gives hope to those less fortunate."

Athletes, singers, reality show contestants - you don't need to look to hard to find some type of voice for the voiceless sentiment.

On the 10th season of the UK series Celebrity Big Brother, a longtime British soap actress, Julie Goodyear, said in a diary room session that her time in the house was "giving hope to disabled pensioners."

If I ever do a podcast, Disabled Pensioners is the clubhouse leader for a title.

So - the next time you see this play out, any "I'm doing it for all the blank out there who sit at home and wish they could blank" - that's this; they're giving hope to disabled pensioners.

Top 100 NFL Players of 2013 #20-11

Saturday, June 22, 2013

30-21 is here.

We are getting down to it.  The 20 Best Football Players Alive, 2013 edition.

NFL Net List
20. J.Charles RB KC (already appeared on my list)
19. J.Flacco QB Baltimore (already appeared)
18. E.Reed S Houston (not on my list, 'cause it's not 2010)
17. M.Ryan QB Atlana (already appeared)
16. AJ Green WR Cincinnati (already appeared)
15. R.Griffin III QB Washington (already appeared)
14. A.Johnson WR Houston (look below)
13. R.Rice RB Baltimore (look below)
12. D.Ware DE Dallas (already appeared)
11. D.Brees QB NO (look below)

My List
20. A.Johnson WR Houston
19. R.Rice RB Baltimore
18. E.Manning QB NYG
17. P.Manning QB Denver
16. D.Brees QB NO
15. V.Wilfork DT NE
14. L.Kuechly ILB Carolina
13. J.Allen DE Minnesota
12. J.Smith DE San Francisco
11. A.Foster RB Houston

NBA Draft Recaps 1989-91


Am I recalling correctly that some type of emotional condition happened with Pervis Ellison - a depression, a social anxiety disorder -  'cause if there's ever been a number one overall pick who looked more downcast, it eludes me. Ellison's downright glum after taken by the Kings. And his picture has scratches on it -- okay, there's a thing Turner did with the insert photos of the guys with this draft - they had these cat scratches on them, like the cast of In Living Color was getting drafted (who goes third in that draft? Carrey/Foxx are 1-2 given future events, I guess Damon has to go third, right? Particularly if you also get his boy, like he were a thoroughbred.  

-Everyone's got hats! Hats! Glorious hats! Hats began to pop up the year before, but now, every pick, handed a hat - look at all the hats! Shiny Arsenio Hall suits and aerodynamic haircuts are starting to emerge. The 90s are coming!

-Bob Neal just compared the NBA draft to a political convention, because the fun part is "seeing who is going to get nominated next." Bob Neal has clearly never attended a political convention.

-Randy White is Mailman II, in case you were unaware. He comes from a small town, he went to LaTech, he has similar size/speed numbers and similar senior year statistics. He even worked out with Malone's trainer! He's almost a clone! If White had an extra 14,000 rebounds and knocked up a 13 year old girl he'd be going to the hall of fame too.


That convention metaphor apparently percolated in Neal's head all year as he opened up with it in '90, the NBA Draft is like a convention because you're "not exactly sure how it's all going to turn out." I'm trying to imagine Bob Neal on his couch watching a political convention, "It's gonna be Dukakis! They're gonna go with Dukakis! Over-rated! Over-rated! Clap-clap-clapclapclap."

-Rick Barry just called this the Top Gun draft. Is it filled with latent homosexuality punctuated by an appearance by then do-able Meg Ryan? Will the Heat take Rick Rossovich in the 2nd? If Derrick Coleman and Snapper Jones burst into You Lost Than Loving Feeling then it's all going to make sense.

(Meg Ryan raises the possibility of two separate lists - celebrities who you once wanted to sleep with but now no longer do - or celebrities who you still would sleep with just because they're famous, like you were a 20 year old girl nailing Jimmy Page in 2009.  I'm gonna say...Meg Ryan's on the second list.)

-Jones grabs Gary Payton's earring, says Charles Barkley has an earring and that means GP might be a good leader. Raises more questions than it answers. An analyst wouldn't touch a ballplayer's ear bling today; and it's good to note that in 1990 seeing a ballplayer with an earring was enough of a curiosity that its taken note of. I wonder when that happened with tattoos - Rodman's the start of that right - Rodman got the tattoos and it was framed as a sign of his emotional instability, and now there's more ink on the average NBA court than in the entire back catalog of Hi and Lois strips.

-Denver takes the artist formerly known as Chris Jackson. It was near the end of the 95-96 season when he made his national anthem protest; that was the end of his 6th year with the Nuggets, in that year he had career highs in ppg, apg, minutes, and steals/gm - the following year he was a part timer in Sacramento and never started even one more game after that. There's only one type of political speech allowed in American sports, and that is God Bless The Greatest Country on the Face of the Earth; God's Chosen Country, America! You stand for the patriotic song and you remove your hat and don't even think about going to get a hot dog in the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium! If you don't stand here and recognize that God Blesses America you get out of this (partially publicly subsidized) stadium. (edit, completely coincidentally, I just heard the podcast from Dan Patrick's radio show today; he and Rich Eisen talked about not only this topic, but of the specific example of Abdul-Rauf getting his house burned down after his anthem protest. In other places, I've acknowledged my fundamental bafflement that someone could construe the United States of America as requiring compelled political speech, and would be moved to burn down someone's house if not getting that political speech from another. Patrick/Eisen were talking about Jim Brown's criticism of Tiger Woods in the recent Real Sports piece - their take was it's not the 60s anymore and sports fans don't want politics mixing with sports. The analysis is wrong on every level. Sports and politics always mix. National anthems, subsidized stadiums, shows of establishment support like politicians throwing out first balls - shows of military force like the Blue Angels, shows of support for military actions are regularly requested at stadiums, American flag pins are still worn by the CBS NFL pregame crew on Sundays, the corporate hegemony in American life is upheld as good and right and beyond question - sports are drenched in politics, the messages are just so ubiquitous that we don't take note of them. 70,000 people all being compelled to stand as one and salute the state flag is a political act; we don't do it before movies, we don't do it at concerts; we don't do it at the comedy club - we do it at sporting events and it's done without question. And in the 60s the same type of sports fan who would hate an athlete who was outspoken politically today hated the athletes who were outspoken then - it's instructive to read the contemporaneous articles on Bill Russell - or on the Smith/Carlos protest. Muhammad Ali was not beloved hero to all; he was the most polarizing figure in the history of American sport. But he wasn't just hated - he was also beloved - and that's what the sports media misses - yes, there is a sports fan (and maybe most of them) who would hate a high profile activist athlete, a real counterculture, anti-establishment political voice in the Jim Brown tradition - but, just like the 60s, there is a not insignificant number who yearn to hear something more substantive from a hero than "buy my shoes." In a classroom lesson I'll often say something like "the most important thing I need you to get from today is______." If there's one thread that runs through my thought about sports and politics - it's that what mainstream media calls political is only a fraction of what is actually political - the far more constant, pervasive, insistent political messages embedded in sport are the ones hidden in plain sight.) 

-Dennis Scott says he's going to give Orlando "100% every night even if it's cold or hot."

Have to admire that kind of postal service like commitment to his craft.

-Has there ever been a more cartoonish, over the top looking heel than Dwayne Shintzius? I'm half expecting him to get drafted by Cobra Kai. On a totally unrelated note, Mike Awesome really meant to kill himself, right? It wasn't an autoerotic asphyxiation thing like David Carradine and Karl Malden?


-I would have made the Owens/Richmond deal too. Now, I was 20 and had the mancrush on all-court big men, as earlier noted - so it's understandable if I was blinded by the Billy Owens pyrite. Nellie didn't have any of those excuses. 

-'Member how UNLV was everything that was wrong with everything? The ultimate poster kids for a dirty, tainted program?

"We decided we wanted to stay to get our degrees"

-Stacey Augmon, talking about the UNLV seniors.

#AD2013. Ep 1. Phoenix Airport Mural

Friday, June 21, 2013

Clue: There's a banana stand to the right of the nose of the airplane.

NBA Draft Recaps 1986-88

-There's no evidence of this, because I said it to myself and no one else was around (see the above for how that might have happened) but there was a GSW game a couple of years after this where I said "I'd trade Washburn for Bias right damn now." Here's all you need to know about Chris Washburn, right after he's picked Bob Neal said that the way he notified NC St that he was declaring for the draft is that his mom called Jimmy V to tell him he wasn't coming back to school. It's never happened to me, but sometimes I'll hear a story about a parent calling the college about one of the students; and that always gives me the creepy chills. I don't claim any special powers, but I went away to school when I was 17 and there is literally no circumstance where I would have had my parents involved with my instructors. My bar on bad athlete behavior is crazy high; make me a GM and I'm going to make my living taking character risks, but this was just stupid.


Chuck Person. And better than that is the interview with Person's wife, who appears to still be in her wedding dress - they got married the Saturday before the draft - now, I am not the guy to rail about how divorce laws are unfair to men and that women are golddiggers and We Want Pre-Nup and all of that; that's not the world in which I live - but if you get married the Saturday before you are a lottery pick in the National Basketball Association you are just setting fire to money. The only way Chuck Person could have been dumber is if he celebrated getting drafted by overdosing on cocaine or if he took Chris Washburn third.

-Vecsey's reporting as almost done the Worthy/Scott to Dallas for Tarpley/Aguirre deal. Hard to imagine a thing like that getting forgotten. But it was 1986, the Poltergeist of NBA Drafts. I think somewhere in the middle of the second the Cavs took JoBeth Williams. Rodman went 27th and he isn't in the top half dozen of head cases from the 1986 NBA Draft.

-Pearl Washington looks a little like Beetlejuice from the Stern show. Pearl Washington is a bad as can and he knows he's the best.

-Hey John Salley - in 23 years you're gonna be in a Costa Rican jungle losing a game show to the guy who played Richie Valens.

-I was wrong about David Robinson. Whenever I'm asked "name something that you turned out to be really wrong about" I always think about Robinson; I thought he'd bust - he was a finesse guy and he had the growth spurt, and hadn't had top competition, and there was the prospect of the 2 year Navy deal (which Rick Barry says he should take - Rick Barry, analyzing the top pick in the NBA Draft says Robinson should leverage his Naval commitment so he can become a free agent; now, putting aside the merits of the advice, this again points to the differences in coverage of these events in just twenty five years; if Jay Bilas said that the top pick in the 2013 draft should not sign with the team, should take a couple years off to become a free agent and make more money, the network would fire him before the 2nd pick; twenty five years ago, at least one analyst was actually analyzing - now, everyone's in bed together; ESPN and the NBA are corporate partners; the same way all of the networks/newspapers/cable channels and the US government are corporate partners - when an actual question that is outside the accepted frame is asked at a White House press conference - it's not the Administration that needs to freeze out the questioner - the other journalists do that for them, they carry the water - if someone raises to Obama the hypocrisy of his condemnation of Iranian oppression while permitting our own, that person is excised from the realm of mainstream debate - the league doesn't have to do it, ESPN will do it for them)

-Anyway, I thought Robinson would bust - and I remember this interview from the draft where he said he was "learning to love basketball" - and all I saw were red lights. He was passionless! Where's the fury and the fire and the snorting!

Yeah, I was wrong. And not wrong because it just worked out that I wasn't wrong. I was wrong because none of that stuff matters. The yelling, the screaming, the crying - it's all bullshit. Kobe doesn't win the title in 2009 because he juts out his jaw and "wants it more than he ever has" - Kobe wins because he's real good and Orlando's not. That's it. Sometimes the screamers win, sometimes the quiet guys win. Sometimes it's Leader Quarterback Swaggering Guy who raises the trophy, and sometimes it's Eli Manning, who I once called Johnny Drama. The yelling and slapping the floor is fun to watch, but it doesn't matter. Fortunately, I learned that, so the corollary to this is when Tim Duncan (another finesse, passionless center headed for San Antionio) was being debated before his draft several years later, I was out front in saying the guy was going to be an all time superpremium star. It's good to learn things.

-Neal and the whole TBS crew rips the Kevin Johnson pick. They were wrong. If I can do more of these (particularly in this century where it started to emerge) there's a theme that would develop in criticizing draft picks - you don't criticize big school guys who stayed at least 3 years, 'cause they know how to win and why draft on potential (Vitale's still in this pocket. That guy is embarassing.) and that meant for awhile ripping all the high school picks (go to school! They need to go to college! How can you take Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor!) and then it became about ripping the European guys (they're soft, don't you know) and it never seems to matter how many Trajan Langdon's there are or how many Pau Gasol's there are - every year (one year, it was a TNT year, I recall Barkley just killing, just killing as culturally soft the entire continent of Europe, which falls under the Iavaroni side of Barkleytalk) you'll hear a run of "take Tyler Hansbrough! Tyler Hansbrough's a proven winner! A winner! A Tar Heel! Wooooo.

None of that explains why they botched the KJ analysis. 

Note that I've missed two drafts - NBA TV does show the '81 draft, but I didn't catch it this year; maybe next - and I've never seen the '83 draft listed (that's Ralph's draft; I can't offhand recall ever seeing it, so that would be a fun watch - I was a big Ralph kid, I think the first hoops meme that I ever bought into was the all court big man; everyone who ever played even one pickup game understood intuitively that there's a tradeoff in basketball - size is good, 'cause closer to the basket makes hitting shots easier to do - but ability to handle the ball is good, 'cause you do have to go up and down. But then came Ralph - taller than anyone and he had handle. When I was 11, that was superfreaky.

As it turned out, Ralph spent some time on the GSW bench before he wrapped up, napping next to Wash.


Craig Sager (before the cross dressing): What do you know about Phoenix?

Tim Perry: It's Hot! It was a hundred thirteen out there!

More upset than Perry was Dell Curry (thanks for your boy, Dell) on location at the Hornets first draft party as he had just been taken in the dispersal draft; you could see his gears turning as Charlotte made Rex Chapman their first ever pick and then TBS threw to Curry, "so - what do you think about Rex Chapman."

He thinks they just took an off guard is what he thinks. He thinks a white star off guard from UK has been taken by an expansion team and now Dell Curry's got to fight for minutes on a 15 win team.

-Rony Seikaly had great hair. He was the Greek JFK Jr.  Definitely the most spongeworthy of Orangemen busts.

-There's a "bull-shit" chant after the Bulls take Perdue; that's curious NY fan behavior and I'm unsure of its motivation - draft watchers know there are 2 types of picks NY fans regularly boo (1) picks by NY teams and (2) picks that swipe players away from NY teams.

So this has to fall into one of the auxiliary categories - (3) picks who NY fans believe are overdrafted (4) picks by teams NY fans hate - you're tempted to say this is (4) but it's really too early for full on Ewing/Jordan era Knick/Bull hate -- so I'm going to say it's a Tyler Hansbrough pick, that they didn't yet have the "over-rated" chant available to them in '88 and the wave somehow didn't seem applicable, so they went with "bull-shit."

-Why did I remember Jeff Grayer as a white guy? Was it because Fred Hoiberg was white? Was Fred Hoiberg so white that I decided everyone associated with Fred Hoiberg was also white? Jeff Hornacek was white. Was Marcus Fizer white? Let's decide together that Marcus Fizer was also white.

-I enjoy the David Stern "you people are such rubes" smile as he approaches the podium - Vince McMahon has always had the same smile "you are the dumbest people on the face of the earth, thank you for the house in Boca."

-Rick Barry is way, way too excited for the prospective Clipper lineup of DannyManning/CharlesSmith/ReggieWilliams/GaryGrant/mystery off guard. And Joe Wolf coming off the bench! The '88 Clips are a dreamworld of magic.

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