Doug’s Four-Point Stance: Speaking and pitching
1) KEVIN WARE
I don’t know if he wants the job or not, but the young man from Louisville is staring at thousands of dollars he can make on the public speaking circuit.
We’ve all seen Mike Utley and “Two Thumbs Up.” A wave of the thumb of an injured athlete goes a long way. Yelling at your team “Just win the game” with your tibia exposed is above the stuff of legend. Congratulations to Louisville on winning the national championship.
2) IAN KENNEDY
I don’t think Kennedy will be competing for Cy Youngs very often; 2011 was a special year. He might never repeat it again. However, I don’t think he’ll ever repeat last year again, either.
He embraces his role this year. He accepts the responsibility of what it means to be an “Ace.” In 2011, he was riding a wave. In 2012, he was trying to live up to the expectations of others versus keeping it simple. Last year, he competed against 2011. This year, he’ll simply compete against the batter at the plate.
I don’t expect a 23-win season from Kennedy, but he will show he’s one of the 20 best pitchers in MLB.
3) STEVE ALFORD
One national championship every 38 years really isn’t that impressive. The UCLA job is not what it appears to be. If it was, Steve Alford wouldn’t be the head coach.
Alford is a good recruiter and a good practice coach. Look for UCLA to improve their talent. Look for the program to sustain success much better. However, don’t act shocked at a long series of tournament losses in 3-14, 2-7 or 1-8 games. He beats you with better talent and game plans, but not adjustments in close games.
4) LINDSEY HUNTER
Who knew that Marcin Gortat was the difference to the level he is. The Suns are 2-11 without him. I believe the Suns will name Hunter the head coach at some point this month. I have to ask, why? Is Marcin Gortat really that valuable of a piece that he can’t win without him?
A bad team rises up to play well against good teams and is horrible against their fellow bad teams. The only way that can happen is if your players are unprofessional, immature or both. If Hunter was brought in to teach some accountability, what has happened in the last few months to justify keeping him?
Keep in mind, the Suns were blown out once during the season with Alvin Gentry. The Suns are getting blown out almost once a week with Lindsey Hunter. I’m missing something.