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Updated Jul 24, 2012 - 12:42 am

Vinsanity: Bauer will be fine, Marshall not so quick…

Last week, I wrote about not being all that concerned with
Trevor Bauer’s rocky four-start debut
in Major League
Baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ prized right-hander
was
touched up for a 1-2 record and a 6.43 ERA during his
first
taste of the bigs.

Interestingly enough, one commenter asked if I could write
an
article pinpointing how Kendall Marshall’s rocky start in
the
Vegas Summer League is also not a big deal.

Actually, I am a little more concerned about that.

The Phoenix Suns’ first round draft pick out of North
Carolina struggled in his initial Summer League games,
shooting just 20% (5-for-25) in his first three contests.
The southpaw also missed his first eight three-point
attempts
and had a 16-to-10 turnover-to-assist ratio.

The big difference between the two youngsters’ struggles?
Bauer has shown he can dominate
against
lesser competition, going 11-1 in the minor leagues this
season and 12-3 since signing his contract last summer.
So
to see him struggle in a 16.1 inning stretch against the
best
his sport has to offer isn’t that alarming to me.

And while Marshall did improve in his fourth and final
Vegas
Summer League game with 15 points and 10 assists in a win
against Memphis on Saturday, the truth is the rookie
struggled against a lot of guys who are nothing more than
camp bodies.

One of the knocks on Marshall coming into the draft is
that
he wasn’t a strong outside shooter, and he didn’t do much
to
dispel those rumors in Las Vegas.

Could it have been nerves? Sure, but I find it hard to
believe that a guy who starred for one of the premier
college hoops programs in the country could be rattled by
going against a lot of players who will be earning
paychecks outside of basketball come October.

Certainly it’s not time for panic, but if I had to pick
between the two, I’m more concerned about Marshall’s
future
than Bauer’s.

___

Years ago, I made a promise to myself that if advertising
ever popped
up on the uniforms of any team in the four major league
team
sports, I’d be done as a fan.

Hyperbolic? Sure.

Accurate? Not entirely.

But the NBA seems to be the first league that will
implement
the use of advertisements on jerseys, as commissioner
David
Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver
discussed last week
.

The ads themselves will be 2½ inches-by-2½ inches and are
expected to generate over $100 million in revenue league-
wide.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that our lives are
not
greatly affected by advertising. They are. Whether it’s
traditional television, radio or print ads, dynamic
internet
ads or billboards, average citizens are exposed to
over
5,000
ads per day
.

So come 2013, fans will spill into an NBA arena with a
corporate name attached to it, be exposed to hundreds of
ads
on video boards and arena banners and sit through
sponsored
timeout and halftime activities. And now, even while the
game is going on, the historically sacred, uncluttered
space on NBA
uniforms
will be adorned with another ad impression.

To me, this just opens the door for more ad-based revenue
to
take over the sport. Don’t believe me? Just wait for the
2014 NBA Finals presented by Vizio featuring the AT&T
Spurs
against the American Airlines Heat of Miami sponsored by
Coca-Cola.

I won’t give up watching basketball because of it.
Instead maybe it’ll force me to change my way of watching.
Anybody want to sponsor my fanhood?

___

And finally, was there a better free agent signing
anywhere in baseball than Jason Kubel in the offseason
following 2011?

Yahoo! Sports
had Kubel listed as the 24th-best free agent
in
the game last November. That wasn’t surprising, as Kubel
was injured for a good portion of the 2011 season for a
wretched Minnesota Twins team. Kubel hit just 12 homers
and drove in 53 runs for the Twins last year, and the
Diamondbacks, seemingly set in the outfield with Gerardo
Parra, Justin Upton and Chris Young, gave the life-long
American Leaguer a two-year, $15 million deal.

What a bargain.

Kubel is leading the National League in RBI with 71, and
is on pace to drive in 121 runs — which would be the
second-most in team history.

Considering that Kubel is out-producing Angels’ first
baseman Albert Pujols and Tigers’ slugger Prince Fielder
and cost $453 million less than the values of their
combined ridiculous contracts, I’ll say it again.

What a bargain!

Kubel, along with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, second
baseman Aaron Hill and rookie
left-hander Wade Miley, is one of four reasons that the
Diamondbacks are still inexplicably within six games of
division-leading San Francisco heading into Monday’s
action.

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