The fourth quarter James displayed is exactly why this human being could become the greatest player of all-time. The fact we had to wait through 23 quarters of the NBA Finals to see it is exactly why he isn't the greatest player of all-time.
The Heat dominated the Spurs during times when Bosh/Wade were on the bench. San Antonio controlled the game while Bosh/Wade played. Hard to call them the Big 3 just because both played well in the OT.
I realize you're a very smart man. I realize you know more about basketball than I do. I also realize Tony Parker didn't play a good game. Those three facts notwithstanding, may I ask why you trusted Manu Ginobili over Parker at the end of the game?
MVPs end losing streaks with walk-off home runs. Five hits against a pitcher in his first start and one of the weakest bullpens in baseball is pathetic. Give Delgado and Goldschmidt a ton of credit but the offensive problems are real.
With a 9-0 pitcher on the mound, a possible MVP candidate on first and a potential Rookie of the Year at shortstop, there were fewer than 20,000 fans at the game against Miami. Only Astros and Indians fans were worse. Out of all the teams that are in first or second in action Monday night, Arizona drew the fewest fans...by 15,000.
BLACKHAWKS POWER PLAY:
0 for their last 18. As talented as they are, Chicago needs to shoot the puck and fight for rebounds. Quit trying to be so pretty.
Every major it's the same thing. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, he dominates the coverage. After Saturday, it's then realized he won't win so they start talking about the next major. When will the national media break the trend and start explaining why he won't win on Thursday? No one on the course is intimidated by Tiger anymore and he's not as confident.
The conditioning test is brilliant. After pushing the players through a tough workout, the Suns put prospective draft picks through a grueling test of stamina. What they really want to see is whether or not you feel entitled or above the need to do the test. If a player thinks they're too good for the test at 19-22 years old with no money, you have a window to their soul on how well they will listen to a coach after they've signed their contract.
2013-14 will be very tough. I don't think the talent is there to win 30 games. I'm also not concerned. This time the pain will lead to pleasure.
About every 10 years, my beloved game embarrasses me. Not coincidentally, Mark McGwire is at the forefront.
I say "my game" not as if I own it more than you, for it is truly "our" game. I say my beloved game because of what it means to me. I realize this moment ranks nowhere near the 1919 White Sox, steroids, Pete Rose or the Pittsburgh drug trials. Anytime confidence is lost, however, it's not good for the game.
There were so many things right about the fines and suspensions. Unfortunately, there were two so terribly wrong that it can't be justified. Five games for Eric Hinske versus two games for McGwire and one for Ronald Belisario is inexcusable.
McGwire is a coach. Baseball must send a message that roid rage on the field will not be tolerated. Coaches must be held to a higher standard. A two-game suspension does nothing to discourage a coach running onto the field desperately trying to begin his own brawl. Matt Williams and Kirk Gibson are not to blame for the Dodgers' payroll, misery, injuries, bandwagon fans, overrated ballpark or Manny-world. Since McGwire cares so little for showing class, why shouldn't the next coach feel free to get a coaching brawl started? At worst, they're gone for two games.
Show me how the actions of Hinske are five times worse than the actions of Belisario. It can't be done. I'm not saying Hinske was a saint. If I'm a player after seeing this decision, I'm all in during the next fight. If I can act like Belisario only to receive one game, that's worth it. Each team should hire a goon like 1970s hockey. Your guy gets plunked, your goon runs out of the dugout and he's only gone for a game.
I see nothing wrong with the decisions made on any of the Diamondbacks. MLB was extremely fair to the Diamondbacks. They got what they deserve. I'm embarrassed that my beloved game dropped the ball on the Dodgers instead of the hammer. Another example of football's leadership being so much better. Wish it wasn't true.
The blame game has started. Everyone wants to claim they know the unwritten rules of baseball. Let's look at what really happened last night and lay the blame where it belongs while exonerating those who are getting ripped by others who only pretend to know the game. We'll go through every name of a hit batter, the pitcher that threw it leading up to the brawl and the main participants of the brawl.
CODY ROSS: He got hit early in the game but this was nothing and had nothing to do with the fight. He's guilty of nothing and neither is Grienke on this hit by pitch.
YASIEL PUIG: I normally have a huge problem with the "ODP," the out-of-the-dugout puncher. If you get hit by a pitch thrown at your head and you're not sure if your pitchers have your back, I understand charging the mound. I never thought the day would come where I'd accept the ODP but I do here. You get hit in the face -- irrelevant of how glancing the blow is -- you're completely dazed. Then you get an inning to sit and realize you could have died. Now a real fight breaks out, I get it. I give Puig a complete break for his actions during the fight.
IAN KENNEDY: The hitting of Puig was accidental. Anyone who argues that point is an idiot. Compare the reaction of Kennedy when he hit Puig and when he hit Greinke. There's a half hop as if he can telegraph a "look out" mental note to Puig while Montero immediately jumps to Puig's side. Hitting of Greinke was obviously intentional and Kennedy was walking towards the dugout in the middle of his follow through.
I have no problem with the idea of hitting Greinke. I do have a problem with Kennedy going high. I hope Kennedy wanted Greinke's back and it got away from him. If Kennedy meant to go head high, that's bush-league every single time. Due to my personal knowledge of Kennedy's level of class, I trust the pitch missed the spot on Greinke he was aiming.
ZACH GREINKE: Despite all the screaming from the D-Backs' dugout and from D-backs fans, he did nothing wrong either. So many are screaming that since Kennedy didn't mean to hit Puig, that let's him off-the-hook. No it doesn't! If you throw a pitch at the star's head, it doesn't matter whether you meant it. There will be retribution. It's Kennedy's job to control his pitches whether he's trying to bust someone up and in or not. You hit my guy in the nose, I'm hitting your guy.
Greinke didn't go high on Montero. He hit him squarely in the back. Even more impressive was Greinke's reaction to getting hit was extremely professional. He didn't charge the mound. He didn't get involved in the fight. He took his base. He went after the shortstop on the double-play turn. He didn't break any of the unwritten rules and was a complete example of how the game should be played.
CLINT FAGAN: An absolute horrific display by an umpire. If he's at third today for the series finale, you know MLB is truly lost when it comes to developing, training and promoting good umpires while fining, suspending or demoting the poor ones. After Fagan embarrassed himself with a terrible call at first Monday night, he out-does himself Tuesday night. In the fourth inning, Gonzalez is on first with Puig at the plate. Puig fouls off the first pitch for ball one. Yes you read that right. It is literally impossible to make it to the Major League level and make a call as stupid as Fagan did. How did you not hear it hit the bat Mr. Fagan? If it wasn't a strike, sir, why did you give Montero another ball? The "unfoul-ball" ended up by the screen. Isn't that a live ball and Gonzalez could go to second? If he didn't go to second, doesn't that show you it was a foul ball?
I bring this up to establish Fagan's credibility for his next horrible decision. You do not have to wait until there's a warning before you eject a pitcher. If the umpire's discretion is that there was an intentional hit batsman, he's within his right to automatically eject the pitcher and issue warnings. I completely stick up for Greinke's right to defend Puig and hit Montero. It doesn't change the fact he must be ejected. Fagan must get control of the situation and take retaliation off the table for the D-backs.
I hate the fact baseball has become soft. Baseball is supposed to be settled by the players but the rules have changed. I don't like the rule that allows pitchers to be ejected for playing the game the right way. However, my opinion is irrelevant. These are the rules as set by MLB and Fagan failed to use them to defuse the situation. If Fagan had a clue how to handle the game, the brawl never happens because Greinke's ejected and Kennedy has no one to hit.
BUD SELIG: Do you really think the umpires can see every action during a brawl? Why has instant replay been so slow? The umpire's job is to try to bring peace in that situation. There's no way they can do that while judging who should stay and who should be ejected. Give the men a monitor. Your umpires allowed a manager to throw a bench coach to the ground and stay in the game. That's not on them, that's on you.
RONALD BELISARIO: You are the classic ODP. You have no place in this game. You're nothing. You came running into a fight by slapping people away until you could start throwing hay-makers. You didn't want to square someone up like a man. Your goal was to hide on the outside of the scrum, out-flank, throw punches but make sure any that connected couldn't be returned. I hope the D-backs never forget you. If the D-backs could win a championship with you but not without you, I'd rather not win than to ever have you in this organization. The D-backs are about class and guts. You have neither.
MARK MCGWIRE: It's already established you're a fraud by your previous decisions. Now we know you're an unprofessional joke. You're going after Kirk Gibson? You really think Gibson needs you to educate him on the right way to play the game? You're not a player anymore, Mark. Even Clint Fagan is glad you were there as the biggest embarrassment of the night. Anything less than a 10-game suspension shows it's clearly time for a new commissioner.
DON MATTINGLY: You're not a fraud. You're not an unprofessional joke, but you did act like one for one night. You're better than your actions. You must be suspended for your actions but it doesn't have to hurt. Three games is plenty.
My huge take away from Tuesday's show didn't happen on the air. It happened during a not so beautiful part of the program.
I love our conversations with our guests regarding their dads. Tom Candiotti joined us to talk D-Backs. Before our conversation, we talked to him off-air when he told us about his father's death when Tom was 17. Wolf mentioned his father passed when Wolf was 19. Tom said, "It forces you to grow up fast."
I'm 41. Although I'm nervous about my father dying from a sudden heart attack, I'm so blessed to have had him here for my whole life to this point. Tom is so right about his comment. So many times I came into a situation unprepared only to find my father there to help cover me.
From me to all of you whose father is alive: Call him this week.
TREVOR CAHILL: He's given up more earned runs in two June starts than he did in all of April or May.
CODY ROSS: Made the third out at third base Saturday night while trailing 8-0. It is unimaginable to be standing on first base with two outs and think it's a good idea to aggressively attack third base. Then to do it when down 8-0 shows you're completely unfocused on the job.
DIAMONDBACKS FANS: College and pro sports are two distinctively different entities. College fans need to go to games in order to create an atmosphere that recruits see. Fans passion can directly affect results of the immediate future as well as future seasons.
In pro sports, if there's not a good product on the field, why spend the money? For years, however, D-Backs fans always wait until September to see if they'll get behind the team. Obviously, those days are over. More than 120,000 fans came to Chase Field this weekend. MLB attendance has been down all year but it's been up at Chase Field. That's a tribute to the organization for going over budget, the team for playing hard, and the fans themselves for so quickly recognizing both of those things.
GAME 1: Why is it that game 1 of any series against the Miami Heat is so worthless? Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that the Bucks didn't beat Miami in game 1 of their series. For the last three years of the big three, the Heat don't bring the intensity in game 1. Give Spoelstra credit for changes in game plan in the next games. Give the players credit for much livelier hands defensively. It's impressive how often the Heat rebound from game 1 losses but I struggle to understand why they can't play as hard in game 1 as they do in every other game of every other series.
You know there's something special going on when every player loves talking about the guy who's carrying them.
Paul Goldschmidt gets completely harassed by his teammates. In a good way. They had T-shirts made up that said "America's first baseman." Barry Bonds would never get that kind of treatment. If teammates think you're self-absorbed, they're not giving you more attention. For those T-shirts to be printed, your teammates must think you're great and humble.
I also had quite a few on-the-record and off-the-record conversations regarding Ian Kennedy. To a man, everyone I talked to said Kennedy's work ethic is not in question. His desire is not in question. That makes it easier to root for him but his situation is also worrisome. If the problem isn't heart, focus, mental or physical pain, the only thing left is he's not that good. A first-place team can't wait for him to fix it.
Full disclosure, I've pushed the panic button. You're not going to find anyone in this town (minus family) who is a bigger fan of his than me. When you're in this job, you root for good people that work hard. He's a hard-working player and he's a great guy. There's no other way to say it though, he stinks right now. The big question becomes is this just a tough stretch for him or is he just not a good pitcher?
I'm still holding on to tough stretch but I don't have much to hold onto. What was once considered a pitching-rich organization is suddenly thinning. McCarthy's hurt, Hudson is out and Skaggs is already with the big league club. Your choices are ride out the storm, send Kennedy to the bullpen and promote Archie Bradley or trade Kennedy. The best choice is to ride out the storm for the rest of the month.
Started with ASU basketball, then went to Cardinals football and on to the show.
I met with Herb Sendek for coffee and donuts. I'm not special. A few members of the media sat with him to find out how the offseason is going.
I love talking to coach because he is clearly the smartest man in the room but never has a condescending attitude. I'm always troubled after talking to him, though. He's so honest and principled, winning is difficult. The NCAA doesn't spend the money on enforcement and most schools do little to police their own. Sendek is one of the few who want to win the right way. It's too bad fans only support teams that win instead of winning people.
I then headed to Cardinals OTAs. The first thing I noticed is the number of young players that were working on the other field. So many times in the Ken Whisenhunt practice, the young players stood around watching. There's learning in watching. You can see professionals run the play. You can simply watch professionals play. As we saw, there wasn't enough learning.
The Bruce Arians practice has young players doing nothing but playing. The players learn the plays while the coaches learn if the players can play. The Bruce Arians practice is filled with coaches. There are coaches everywhere, coaching always. If the players aren't learning, they aren't listening.
After practice I talked to Carson Palmer for five minutes. I have no idea if he'll be successful. I know his attitude will be. He has a lightning quick wit. You have to listen to everything he says to catch it. I'm sure I missed the meaning of something. He sets a total tone of professionalism. He has a laid-back southern California attitude about everything that doesn't include family or football.
If you get a chance to meet him, you'll enjoy the time. He's easy to root for.
Top of the 14th inning. Two on and two outs. He does it again.
In baseball terms, if you have runners on second and third, there is a base open. If the runners are on first and second, there is not a base open no matter how much your eyes scream at you there is no one on third. The reasoning is the first scenario only brings one force out to the table and no double play while the second scenario gives you three force outs and the double play possibility. It's easy to understand because managers don't want to put another runner on base just to only add the plate as force out, but are willing to accept the risk of the added runner when it increases the force outs fourfold.
Tuesday night the Cardinals did not walk Paul Goldschmidt with runners on first and second, two outs and Miggy on-deck. The "managerial manual" says you pitch to Goldschmidt for the reasons listed above. Let me challenge the book with two questions:
1. Is Goldschmidt more dangerous at the plate or first base?
2. Are your chances of giving up a crucial run better or worse pitching to Goldschmidt and not Montero?
Good managers know when to throw away the book.
Complain all you want about Jordan Baker's call at third last night in the bottom of the sixth. If you didn't see it, Carlos Beltran was tagged by Martin Prado while sliding into third. Despite this, Baker said Prado missed the tag.
Sure, Baker blew it, but I'm tired of blaming umps for a terrible system. Bad umpires aren't fired and good umpires aren't promoted because the union wants to protect employees who aren't good at their job.
The blame needs to shared with Bud Selig as well. He has continually refused to allow expanded replay. A fifth umpire in the booth would have had the call corrected before the next pitch. Selig has been quoted as saying, "I'm not hearing this loud demand for more replay." Mr. Selig, you're clearly not listening.
In light of the Chris Paul/Vinnie Del Negro issues, did you know Bauer is a Clipper? He now has a 2-2 record along with a 5.05 ERA with the Columbus Clippers.
Bauer being a Clipper while Gregorius is a D-back isn't the story (OK, yes it is but not here). Here's a blurb from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Tribe brass wants Bauer to narrow his pitching repertoire, from eight or nine to no more than five. It also wants him to focus more on pitching to contact instead of strikeouts.
E. GORDON GEE
All you need to learn about where the American education system is going is read the glowing comments regarding Gee from people within education. Educators look at Gee as a role model. I rarely agree with Rick Pitino, but I see Gee exactly as Pitino does.
Let me add to a great stat provided by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. He notes that in Paul Goldschmidt's 48 at-bats with runners in scoring position, Goldy's slash line is .458/.482/.915. Remember, we're talking about a player who has yet to play two full seasons at the MLB level.
But the stat that astounds me is the payroll adjustment he has undergone while the baseball statistics improve.
Let's say you make $50,000 per year. Your boss calls you into his office to tell you he's very impressed with your work. You will now make almost twice that yearly total... each month. The increase in Goldschmidt's salary is the same mathematically as $50K going to $1.07 million. I don't bring this up to make you jealous or upset about baseball salaries. I'm asking you a simple question. Would it change you?
Of course you'd buy a new house and a new car, but those things don't change you. I mean, at your job, would you be different. Are you sure you'd never show up for work unfocused? Would you act differently as if to show you've arrived? Would you work just as hard as you did to earn the raise in the first place? Are you saying with a guaranteed contract for five years, you'd never say the line, "What are they going to do, fire me?"
Goldschmidt got paid. If he doesn't screw up and invest in moisture farming on Tatooine, Goldschmidt is set for life, but he's not set in baseball. He's accomplished as much as you can in the 2+ years of a career. Yet Goldschmidt understands that he's done nothing relative to a whole career. The money has affected nothing. He prepares the same, works the same while producing more.
The only thing left for Goldschmidt is to embrace his future attention rate. Fans will love and already love him. He has a chance to make history. He accepts that attention but doesn't love it. He's so humble, he takes the opinion, "I'm not a big deal. Let me focus on work." The spotlight is going to be on him no matter what. If he embraces what is needed from him outside the game, he will be everything that is needed inside the game.
2) Ian Kennedy has to step up on Saturday. The D-backs have been rocked with early deficits in their last two games. The bullpen is still beat up from Thursday. This team can't handle three straight abysmal performances from its rotation.
3) Pacers win. The reason is two-fold. I don't want to have to wait until Thursday for basketball. If Indiana wins, we have a game Monday night to break it up. The Finals don't start until the sixth, a full 10 days since the Spurs last played.
4) The Blackhawks win game one. I'm not a fan of the Kings at all. Dustin Brown is a great player but I lost a lot of respect for him in last year's Western Conference Finals. I also like the change in Chicago. Last year they were great, but they weren't tough. They tried to win by being prettier than you. Now, they're still more talented than you, but they play tougher physically and mentally.
E. Gordon Gee was ranked as the best president among American colleges.
Now we know what is wrong with the American educational system. If this is the role model that all other universities look up to, no wonder college has become overrated and run by elitists.
Every day that Ohio State employs Gee is a black mark on the university, the State of Ohio and college athletics. Gee has every right to his opinion. He has every right to remain the president. Ohio State has every right to choose Gee to represent them. Just as I have every right to be embarrassed and offended as a Catholic, Ohioan and a fan of college athletics.
Gee has no problem taking shots at Notre Dame for not joining the Big Ten, the University of Louisville for being inferior in his eyes and the SEC for being in the South.
I'm glad Gee is here to point out the greatness of the Big Ten. Without the Big Ten we wouldn't have universities that protect pedophiles and bigots.
The rotation is unbelievable. The Diamondbacks have some major choices ahead of them.
Tyler Skaggs was great in the early game of the doubleheader. Daniel Hudson's rehab is basically over. He's now advanced to the point where he's into his version of spring training. An assignment to Mobile will bring him back by the end of June. Before we even talked about those two, GM Kevin Towers told us on the show that we need to talk about Archie Bradley.
Three pitchers for a five-man rotation who aren't even in the five-man rotation. July may be a very interesting month. The D-backs might be the only first-place team in baseball with pitching to sell.
I completely accepted moving Steve Nash and beginning the rebuilding process for the Phoenix Suns. However, recognizing the time to rebuild and knowing how to do it are two completely different things.
The 2012-13 season was a waste because the team isn't closer to success. All we learned is Wes Johnson is not bad at his job while Michael Beasley and Lance Blanks are. Not enough answers for so much pain.
The pain is only beginning for the Suns. Though the pain, now, is a good pain. Strength and conditioning coaches like to say pain is just weakness leaving the body. The pain was real last year but very few weaknesses actually left the body. As the pain of the 2013-14 season goes along, I think Suns fans can finally believe that this pain will bring good results.
There is real direction. We haven't had this direction since Steve Kerr fired Terry Porter. Every aspect of the organization was pointing in the same direction.
Finally, everything feels the same again. Lon Babby is in charge of contracts but not in charge of defending bad personnel decisions. Ryan McDonough has a background in actually running drafts and not just participating in drafts. Jeff Hornacek is a player who succeeded on intelligence but has experience as an assistant. Most importantly, Hornacek and McDonough are on the same page.
It might take four to eight years, but the Suns are closer to a championship today than they were 12 months ago, six months ago and yesterday.
The D-backs' offense has been a hair above terrible in the last two weeks. The Padres have been playing much better ball than their talent should allow. They've also owned Arizona at Chase Field. If the offense of the D-backs is truly made of grinders, the offensive slump should end now.
I want to see Roy Hibbert declare himself king of the paint. Shane Battier showed to Hibbert that the Heat believe he can be intimidated. The first drive to the hoop by Miami should end up in a flagrant foul on Hibbert.
Zach Randolph needs to show the real Zach Randolph. He should be a force in these playoffs and this series. Against San Antonio, Randolph has been totally marginalized. This is not the Randolph from the last three regular seasons. Memphis must get that "Z."
I'm really disappointed at how good Cahill's stuff is and how average (at worst) or inconsistent (at best) he is as a pitcher. Keep in mind though, he is pitching much better than Jarrod Parker, whom he was traded for. Cahill is 3-5 with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Parker is 2-6 with a 5.76 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.
Everyone's all over you for leaving Roy Hibbert on the bench for both of LeBron's drives to the bucket. They're right. You're a great coach who just out-thought the room. I know why you did it, but you were wrong to do it. Which is worse, Hibbert caught in a mismatch because you're switching screens or the greatest player in the world in a lay-up line?
So many people think it's a no-brainer that he's a Hall of Famer. Is he a no-brainer if he spent his entire career in Jacksonville? I don't think so.
He's a great player who's had a great career. He's also getting a boost from the "Monsters of the Midway" mystique and his positional link to Butkus and Singletary. I'm not standing at attention guarding the Hall from him. It's not blasphemy if he gets in. Pete Rose once said, "If you have to think about it, they're not a Hall of Famer," and I'm thinking about it.
On the MLB standings page there's a column "POFF." It stands for "Playoff % chance." In the National League West, there's a 3-way tie for third with the Diamondbacks, Giants and Rockies all possessing a 26-21 record. Despite having the same record, the Rockies have the highest percentage chance to win the playoffs. Arizona is second and San Francisco is a distant third.
I love Sabermetrics. I find the work of Bill James fascinating and I've learned so much about baseball reading his work. Current statistics for run differential determine playoff percentage. So if the D-Backs would have just won Monday by a wider margin and lost Wednesday by a smaller margin, they would have a higher win percentage despite the same record and same win/loss result from this week's series. Any formula that counts a run in Coors Field as being equal to a run scored in another ballpark is ludicrous. I can safely say the Rockies will not win the National League West despite ESPN's calculator.
You do not lose baseball games based on umpires. The D-backs lost to the Rockies because they were down 4-0 in the seventh inning. They lost because Ian Kennedy isn't pitching to his level yet. They lost because of an unearned run and Colorado going 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Now that we're clear, what is going on with umpires? How does Johnson look at his employer and justify the strikes he called on two outside pitches to end two different at-bats with the bases loaded in the seventh? Angel Hernandez (one of the worst umps in history) ruled a check swing for Miggy that was so horrendous he should be fined. Dana DeMuth wasn't going to be short-changed as he put the unearned run on first base when Paul Goldschmidt tagged out Nolan Arenado at first on Didi Gregorius' throwing error.
This is no longer a replay issue. This is a union issue. If the Major League Umpires Association wants to defend the employment of so many bad umpires, it's time to bust the union.
Because of Justin Upton's hot start, everyone wanted to talk about the Braves. In case you haven't noticed, the Pirates are just as good and Cleveland is only 1/2 game worse.
Only leagues without integrity need them.
I can see the new marketing campaign..."Please recycle, Jodi does"
Every week I'm writing something else about Corbin. Too bad the national media haven't figured it out yet. At least MLB Network spent some time on him after the near-shutout of the Rockies.
He's had enough starts that scouts should have found a weakness. It's exciting they haven't. Rockies hitters were walking away in disgust. Angry with themselves as if they had locked their keys in their car. They were frustrated because they can't believe they swung at some of those pitches. It's not your fault Colorado, he's just that good.
He pitches Tuesday. Coors Field is not the place to improve as a pitcher but with the recent outings of McCarthy and Cahill, the pressure isn't on Ian to pitch like an ace. The pressure is to simply keep up with the rest of the rotation.
Really cool of him to come in studio Monday and fill in for Wolf on short notice. I made a joke on Twitter that he just whopped me in an argument and I needed prayers. I don't want to over-react because it was only two people but I was ripped for asking for prayers in light of the tragedies that are happening in Oklahoma. A note to the Twitter politically correct police: If you think so poorly of me that you honestly believe I'm hoping to steal prayers from those directed to tornado victims in order to be a stronger intellectual challenger for Tim, why are you following me anyway? I'm sorry I've earned so little respect from you in the past.
I'm reminded -- after seeing the carnage in Oklahoma -- of what former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said to Wolf and me on our show following the Boston Bombings. He said there are so many good people who want to do so many good things but the best thing to do is to just stay back let the authorities do their job and send money.
We try to think of all these things we would need in destruction like that but the problem is you can't get those things to those people fast enough. However, the Red Cross can. The Red Cross needs two things: money and blood. If you can, try to donate one or the other. I promise I will this week.
Please don't hire Kelvin Sampson as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. He has an excellent basketball mind. He's an excellent basketball teacher. In all honesty, he's actually a good basketball coach.
Sometimes, it's about more than just basketball. On two different occasions as a head coach, he openly disobeyed the rules. Judge all you want whether the stupid rules of the NCAA should apply, but Sampson knew the rule at least once because he had already broken it and then broke it again. There is a clear-cut aversion to authority. With these actions on his character, he shows a pattern that rules don't apply to him. Sampson represents those who take the quick way out and hope it doesn't come back to bite them. The Suns are so bad that there won't be anything close to a quick fix. Anyone who tries short-cuts with this franchise will only set us back.
I know there are no choir boys. I accept almost everyone cheats at the college level, but I don't have to accept them as NBA coaches.
Brian Shaw has played and coached in the league. He's the only person in the world that kept Kobe and Shaq happy together. He's coached under an old veteran with Tex Winter and Phil Jackson as well as the new age Frank Vogel. Shaw is the clear choice as Suns' head coach. I'm pretty sure he won't be and I hate that.
I am happy for Ian because there were so many games in 2010 that he got the loss or a no-decision that he didn't deserve. Josh Byrnes and the 2010 bullpen cost him so many wins, it seemed like a weekly occurrence. It was nice for him to get a win he didn't deserve on Wednesday. Unfortunately, and there's no doubting this, he didn't deserve this win.
An ace can never be happy with a five-inning outing. It is inexcusable for an ace to walk in a run. However, Kennedy struck out seven. He used his curveball more. He was much more aggressive. He went 2-0 on curves to Freeman that were strikes but not called. Arizona didn't get the results they need or expect from Kennedy, but a scout would say he looked better.
I really want to believe that the NBA owners vetoed the move of the Kings to Seattle because that's in the best interest of the league. When teams relocate, it looks bad for the league as a whole. It exposes a great deal of failure if a team moves. It even reeks of instability like the early days of every league. Owners would have made so much more money if they okayed this move. It appears they put the best interest of the league in front of their own.
I wish I could believe that was the case. The true reason this is happening is because the owners want to stick it to Seattle, stick it to any NBA city with an old arena and stick it to the Maloofs. By keeping the Kings in Sacramento, the NBA can show Seattle they should have listened the first time. By keeping the Kings in Seattle, the NBA can say "Remember the Sonics" to any current city rejecting the idea using tax payer dollars to build an arena. Most importantly to them, the message to the Maloofs is "get out of our league if you're not going to negotiate with us."
The Angels owner gave the dreaded vote of confidence to manager Mike Scioscia. It's over in Anaheim. I completely understand the future firing of Scioscia on one condition: Moreno admits it's his fault.
Scioscia is an outstanding manager. Everyone in baseball knows it. It's not his fault the general manager built a team that doesn't play to his strengths. A situation like this is almost always the GM's fault. This team is the exception. There is no way Jerry Dipoto wanted to spend over $200 million dollars on two players. This is an ownership move clearly designed to keep up with the Dodgers. In order for advertising agencies to buy commercials on television, they want buzz. These signings created buzz which creates ad buys at the beginning of the year. The Angels are the fault of the owner and firing the manager won't fix that.
I think he'll be the next head coach of the Suns. I think the Suns will be mad at me until 2016 when I stop railroading against the hire of Sampson because they will have fired him.
He came in studio on Tuesday. As you can guess, when an NBA head coach comes in studio to talk basketball, he's a friend of the show. In our conversations during "not-so-beautiful-parts-of-the-program" it was apparent how strong the passion is in this man to coach. Chalk it up to another terrible decision by Michael Jordan if Gentry is not the head coach of the Bobcats.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people try to justify Carmelo Anthony as a basketball player. He is the furthest thing from a championship player. Sure, Syracuse fans will disagree but that's the difference between NCAA and NBA. Melo isn't terrible. He's one of the greatest one-on-one players of all time. Anthony apologists have yet to realize basketball championships are determined by the best collection of 12 players.
Players of Anthony's skill are automatic fixtures as the team's franchise player yet he dooms the franchise to an exciting life and playoff misery. Anthony is a moped player. The ride is fun, but sooner or later you need to grow up and go somewhere.
He said the marshal said he could hit. The marshals are instructed not to talk to the players. So Tiger lied on the course. Next thing you'll know he'll take an illegal drop and claim he didn't know the rule.
Every time I hear him talk, I hear a respectful man. He has nothing against the media, but I hear something else. I hear a man who talks to the media because he completely understands that it comes with the job description of an NFL QB. But he doesn't enjoy it because few in the media talk football. I'm sure Palmer is more complex, but he seems like a guy who cares about football, family and not much else.
If you have low expectations of Palmer, I understand. Past history certainly casts doubt on his ability to be a successful NFL quarterback. However, I think there have been very limited opportunities in Palmer's career where a season wasn't interrupted by a diva uprising, injury or Raider futility. I think Palmer will surprise some people.
Suddenly cooling off as the series with the D-backs is approaching. Probably it has more to do with the health of Jason Heyward, but I'm still interested. It doesn't matter whether Upton goes hitless or torches Arizona. I can't wait to see it.
Really? Tiger pulled a club and that caused you to miss a shot?
I thought Garcia was soft. I'm wrong. He's weaker than that.
He's getting ripped by people who are learning the game of baseball for pulling Brandon McCarthy Sunday. It was 100% the right move.
If an established MLB pitcher throws less than 90 pitches and isn't showing signs of weakness in the eighth, he pitches the ninth inning. Here's the catch: McCarthy has established nothing! Statistically, he's the worst pitcher in the National League. McCarthy has done nothing to earn the right to throw the ninth inning. It's not about one game against Philadelphia. This is about re-establishing the confidence of McCarthy.
There's a caveat to the book. Whenever a pitcher gets hit in the head with a line drive and comes back with the worst OPP/BA and BABIP, if they pitch eight innings of shutout baseball with a rested bullpen, you pull him!
It's amazing how evil this man is. What's more amazing to me is he actually made it through high school, college and spent two years in the NFL. How does that happen? How did any educator ever say he's accomplished enough to move on? Why didn't Detroit accept a failed pick and move on much sooner?
It also brings up something else. I wonder how many Americans have NFL talent who are incarcerated or living a shady life. If Titus made it this far, there must be.
The D-backs are 7-0 when he starts. There's two ways to look at the D-backs this season.
1) They're being carried by two young pitchers who won't be able to sustain this on their way to a 70-win season.
2) If Wade Miley and Corbin can pitch like this, just wait until Brandon McCarthy and Ian Kennedy start doing their thing.
I said it in spring training and I'll say it again. This season rests on Ian Kennedy. He is the key between playoffs and a distant 3rd place.
Fieldin Culbreth was suspended two games for not knowing a baseball rule a high school umpire should know. I'm thrilled with the announcement. It's nothing against Culbreth, but baseball has failed in umpire discipline for far too long. Sure, sometimes umps are fined or suspended behind the scenes, but that's rare. Even rarer is for us as fans to find out about it. Glad to see MLB is holding the umps accountable while being transparent.
I coached my daughter's soccer game Thursday night. Parents on each sideline started yelling at each other. YOU'RE NOT PLAYING. When will parents learn to care about the performance of their own team and show respect to others? It was only five people total but it ruins the night.
Welcome home. Shows great humility from both sides. The Cardinals should have paid him and Dansby should have stayed. They both screwed up that deal. By Dansby returning, it shows both understand that...to a certain extent.
I quickly talked with three men at new Suns general manager Ryan McDonough's introductory press conference Thursday.
They were casual conversations with three people. I'm going to leave two people's names out of this. None of the quotes are direct, only my memory of the conversation.
Jay Biles (ESPN analyst): I've known him for years and he was someone you talked to in his early days in the business and knew he'd be a GM.
(When I asked for a weakness): There really isn't one. I mean he's young but he's done it with the Celtics. His youth could be a weakness but I actually think it's a strength.
Suns employee on business side: It's already different here. Lance just didn't seem like he wanted to be a part of the family. He didn't work against us but he certainly didn't work with us. He just wasn't around.
Former Suns player (when I asked him what he knows of McDonough): Nothing personally, but I'll tell you what, out of everyone I've talked to, no one has anything negative to say. That's hard to do in this business.
The building felt completely different to me today. Winning the press conference doesn't matter at all...but the Suns did accomplish that.
Allison has been an unsung member of quite a few successful drafts for the D-backs. He wanted Chris Sale and was overruled by Josh Byrnes in order to draft Barrett Loux, who never picked up a baseball for Arizona.
I bring up Allison in respect to the last two games. It was the eighth round of the 2009 MLB draft. The Diamondbacks are on the clock and they have first baseman all up and down their organization. There was absolutely no reason to take Paul Goldschmidt. Allison stood on the table saying this is the best player available and we're not going to pass him up.
Didi's slash: .436/.463/.769
Choo's slash: .333/.465/.587
Bauer's line: 1-1, 2.70...basically one horrible start and one pretty good one
I think the Dodgers will keep Don Mattingly until the Angels fire Mike Scioscia.
I love Mel and I love the NFL Draft. He just released his 2014 big board. I was talking about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney two years ago while I was watching Melvin Ingram, so I knew Clowney would be in the top spot. I can't help but remember how much this honor helped this year's number one on the big board at this point last year: Matt Barkley.