Monday, April 30, 2007

NFL Draft: Seahawks

NFL Draft is over, and the Seahawks had a so so draft. Ruskell did his patented draft high character, good work ethic undersized/undervalued guys thing, that's a good idea to have for a few picks, but not all the picks.
His first pick was the 55th pick overall in the late 2nd round, and he picked Josh Wilson, a CB from Maryland. I was hoping for a TE or a G, but the two best TEs were taken, and no guards were here that we couldn't get about the same value in the 3rd round. Wilson is blazing fast and really strong for a guy his size. He'll be a great return man, and an awesome nickelback. I'm happy about this because Arizona and St. Louis always have a good aerial assault, so a nickelback is important, especially if it gets Kelly Herndon off the field, and especially if we get as many injuries as last year.
Our third round pick was Brandon Mebane, a high character, undersized DT, who fits well in a rotating scheme. I, along with others, wanted us to take Michael Bush, the 250 pound back from Louisville, but apparently Ruskell felt that there would be better backs in later drafts, and that Alexander would be adequate next year. This is exactly what we do, so it's easy to see why Ruskell took him, though I think there were decent tackles available later. The best part about him is that he's great against the run, and that's what we need, especially if Tubbs is injured. So far, so good, not much complaints.
Our first 4th round pick was Baraka Atkins, perhaps our best pick of the draft, from a value standpoint. He oozes 2nd round talent because he's big, heavy, and fast, and will be a great DE later. He's a steal, and I'm glad we got him, though I really wanted a TE or a G at this point because I felt these were the only areas of need so far.
With our second pick in the 4th round, we got Mansfield Wrotto, a DT for three years, then a OT for his senior year, who is projected to be an OG. This guy looks like he'll be raw, with upside to improve, but the problem is, is that we had to trade Darrell Jackson to get him. And we traded him to the 49ers, a team that is in our division and beat us twice last year. DJack for a 4th rounder, Randy Moss for a 4th rounder, but Branch for a 1st rounder? Something doesn't make sense here. That is just poor planning on the part of the Seahawks managment, because DJack > Branch, and 1st round pick >>>>> 4th round pick. Holmgren was mad we got so little in return, and rightfully so, Hasselbeck was probably mad as well because that was his favorite receiver. Just a very stupid move by the organization. I was pretty much yelling at the tv for the Seahawks to take Kevin Boss, a TE from Western Oregon at this point, and the didn't.
With our round 5 selection we could have taken Ben Patrick a TE from Delaware, or Michael Allan, a TE from Whitmore. Both would have been great picks because we need a TE. Patrick was projected to go to Seattle in the 3rd round on most mocks, though I'd seen him go in the 2nd on a few. Allan is a project who is a late bloomer and could be real good in a few years, which is fine with me because Pollard will be good for a few more years. Instead, we took Will Herring, a saftey for three years, who played linebacker his senior year. He's friends with Ben Obamanu, and he's currently the FCA leader at Auburn, which is the position Obamanu held last year. It's great to get character guys, but you can't win based solely on character, you need talent as well.
On to the 6th round, where the Hawks were fortunate enough to take Ben Patrick or Michael Allan yet again. Instead we took to WRs, a position we are extremely deep in. First we took Courtney Taylor, a WR from Auburn, then Jordan Kent, a WR from Oregon. Taylor is the all-time leading reception leader at Auburn, and he had a poor senior year because of ankle problems. He's a solid pick, except for the fact that we don't really need him, unless we foresee dumping Burleson or Branch in the near future. I actually love the Kent pick because he went to Oregon to play basketball and track, so you' know he's a great athlete. He picked up football his Junior year, and was a bit raw, but showed that he could play. He's also the son of Ernie Kent, Oregon's basketball coach, so you know athletics play a big part in his life.
For the last round, Patrick was taken early in the 7th, and Michael Allan was taken by the chiefs, just one pick before. I don't think Ruskell would've taken him anyways. We instead got Steve Vallos, an OT from Wake Forest. He was All-ACC last year, and he All-American on some lists. He could be a great guard from what I hear, and I like this pick because line depth is something we need, and drafting two OGs gives us a better chance of one panning out.
For Undrafted guys, we picked up 11 guys, most notably Joe Newton from Oregon State, CJ Wallace from UW, and Tim Mixon from Cal, Kenny James from UW, and Tafisi from Cal. I love getting Newton, because for TEs, I wanted to get one of the top two, if not then I wanted Boss, but if not them, Allan, Patrick, and Newton were all fine with me, and we got Newton for nothing. He's 6'7", is a solid blocker, and can catch bad passes in traffic. His problems are staying healthy and being a tad slow at 4.9 for his 40 yard dash. CJ Wallace played safety for UW, and was amazing. He seemed to have a hand on almost every play. Kenny James played RB for UW, and our RBs last year were a mess, so I don't see him doing too well, but seeing as how we don't really have a 3rd string running back who's any good, he could fit in well. From Cal we got Mixon and Tafisi. Mixon is awesome, he's a tough ass safety who's only 5'9" but is adequatley fast at 5'9" though he lacks size at only 184. At worst he'll be dynamite as a special teams guy, at best he'll be a good cover safety. He's like a poor man's Polamalu because he reads coverages so well, and tackles real well. Tafisi is a DE who is described as "the motor that drives Cal's defense". One downside is that he'll be 26 next month, but he is the type of player who's hunger and work ethic will inspire others on the team to work harder. Can't go wrong with a player like this either for UDFA's.
Overall, I like Ruskell's draft, I just wish he placed some emphasis on conforming his picks and basing his picks on talent, because he can't find every diamond in the rough.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Vegas, Baby!

Well, according to, SuperSonics (and Storm) owner Clay Bennett is taking a "really hard look right now" at Las Vegas as a possible destination for the franchise(s).

For some reason, it never really occurred to me that they would move the Sonics anywhere but Oklahoma City, and for this reason, I was mildly optimistic, because there isn't an owner in the league who doesn't realistically believe that a market as big as Seattle doesn't have more earning potential than one as cowtownish as the OKC. However, like the hangover I currently have, the possibility of Vegas makes me uneasy.

First of all, I think Vegas still has a few hurdles to hurdle over in a hurdling motion before it can have an NBA team. Still, because of the successful Sin City All-Star Game this last February, some of those hurdles have been hurdled with near-hurdle inducing quickness.

Another question to ponder for Bennett, the Maloofs, and other who think a basketball team in Vegas is a good idea: do you really think a basketball team in Vegas is a good idea? Who would really go to Vegas to watch a basketball game? That's like going to Seattle just to get good barbeque, and though "Home of Good Barbeque" on Yesler is bombin', you may be better off going to a different city to get your barbeque on. Now I'm hungry. What were we talking about?

Anyway, assuming the Sacto Kings don't move there first, it looks like Vegas has become a possible destination for the Supes. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sonics fire coach and GM
In a move lost past overdue, the Sonics fired the "heads of the organization".
I'm glad, I never liked Bob Hill, he's an ok assistant coach, but he doesn't fit with our team.
The two best immediate options to replace Hill are Marc Iavaroni, the Suns Assistant, who we almost hired before deciding that we wanted Bob Weiss, only to fired him before 1/3 of the season was over. Iavaroni would be a great coach because we have the pieces in place to play a Suns-like offense. The other option, as discussed previously at SSM is Dwayne Casey, who was fired from his head coaching job in Minnesota, and was an assistant coach when Nate McMillian coached us. He was our first option after Nate McMillan, but took the job with Minnesota because he didn't want to wait for all the jobs to be taken up only to have to return to Seattle as an assistant. Casey would be great because I think he's a great young coach, and he already has a great relationship with all of our players.
Overall, this is a great move by the Sonics Organization and a start in the right direction. I hope now that we hire a great coach, get a great draft pick and maybe offseason aquistion, and playy out of their minds so that the Sonics, the only pro-franchise in Seattle to win a championship, can stay in the great city of Seattle.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chad Ford's Mock Draft Results

I just played the mock draft about 300 times, but it didn't occur to me to write down the results, so I wrote down the last 100 results.
Here are the results. The Sonics draft Grego Oden 17% of the time (doesn't mean number 1 pick, if Milwaukee or Charlotte get number 1 pick, they pick Durant first and if we have number 2, we get Oden).
Durant is drafted 7% of the time (always number 2).
Noah is drafted 15% of the time (usually number 3, number 5 once).
Yi Jian Lian is drafted 53% of the time (usually from picks 5 to 8).
Horford is drafted 6% of the time (usually picks 6-8 if Jianlian and Noah are gone).
Lastly, Julian Wright is drafted 2% of the time.
This is good news because if we really do have a 24% chance of getting Oden or Durant, I'd be psyched. This would not only make this franchise legitimate, but also prevent us from moving probably. Skip Bayliss said earlier that he doesn't think Oden will be a hall of famer. This is just as dumb as people debating Durant and Oden and who's better. Would you rather have a mix between Dirk, T-Mac, and KG or a mix between Ewing, David Robinson, and Bill Russell? The answer is that it doesn't matter, you can't go wrong.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NFL Draft: Seahawks possibilities

First off, the Seahawks position of need are in order of necessity: TE, OL, DT, CB. Though we should obviously consider overall value over need sometimes.
If for some reason we trade D-Jack with either nothing or our 2nd or 3rd round pick, we might get a early second or a late first. In this case we could draft Greg Olsen if we somehow got a 22nd pick or so, and he fell that much. If we had the late 1st round or early 2nd round pick, picks that would make sense would be OT Joe Staley, OG Ben Grubb, DT Justin Harrell, TE, Zach Miller, DT Turk McBride, or OT Tony Ugoh. I would recommend Joe Staley or Zach Miller for this pick because I think both would play right away and do very well. I think Joe Staley could be a great guard, allowing Rob Sims to play RG, while I think that Zach Miller could be just as good a TE as Greg Olsen.
For the second round pick we currently have, if Zach Miller were to fall to us, I would definitely say get him at the 55th pick. Him and Olsen were neck and neck, but Olsen pulled ahead after doing well in a catching drill and running a 4.54 compared to 4.74 for Zach Miller. However, if Michael Bush were to still be available I'd also say he would definitely be a great pick. A big 6'2" 250 back who's fast and has great vision and movement. I think he's just a step below Peterson, but I think he'll be better than Peterson because he won't be injured as often. His injury was a freak accident, and Peterson has been injured several times over time. We don't need a RB, but this would be the perfect situation. Where he could get slowly situated in his rookie season, handle half the carries his next year, then take over his 3rd year. Other possibilities here are Ben Patrick a TE from Delaware, Demarcus "Tank" Tyler a DT from NC State, and Tony Ugoh, a OT from Arkansas, who Mel Kiper just moved to his top 25 overall talent. The last realistic options would be Manuel Ramirez and OG from Texas Tech and Brandon Mebane a DT from California. It'd be nice to have him just becuase his name is Manny Ramirez. I also wouldn't mind getting DE Quentin Moses who was a stud last year at Georgia, but had a relatively poor senior season, and has seen his stock drop because of it.
For the third round, Ben Patrick the TE from Delaware might fall to this pick which would be a nice pickup but TE Scott Chandler, a TE from Iowa would be an ok pick too. Josh Beekman, an OG from BC would be good here, and Chris Henry, a workout stud of a Running Back from Arizona would also be a decent pick. Other good picks would be Quin Pitock, a DT from Ohio State, Marshal Landa, an OL from Iowa, and Paul Solai, a NT from Utah. I like Solai despite his "character" problems, and I htink he would be a great DT because of his size and agility. Brandon Mebane might fall this low, and if he does, that would be great, and there are several good CBs at this spot too.

Felix has elbow problems

Felix gave up 3 runs and got one out before being taken out with elbow problems. The season's optimism was pretty much gone when that happened. Elblow problems are never good, probably the worst kind you can have, with shoulder being second. Hopefully this was nothing, but I doubt it. If we can get Campillo and Feierabend up, that would be OK I guess, but our offense didn't look to good against Carlos Silva, a guy we should be good against because he doesn't walk or strike out anyone, and those are guys we thrive against. Anyways, we should've won the game, because with bases loaded, Vidro got robbed by Morneau of a line drive double. Also our Third base coach is an idiot and called Beltre in. How hard is it to coach third base? Not too hard. How many steps was Beltre out by? 4 steps. Inexcusable, I'd fire him just for that.
Anyways, other injuries are Howie Kendrick of the Angels, and possibly Ryan Howard of the Phillies, so it seems like this year has a lot of injuries so far.
Also of note is that A-Rod hit his 9th HR of the season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to improve the Mariners

Lets start off with the batting lineup.
First off is Ichiro, who can't really get any better. His defense is phenomenal, and his batting average is always great, though subject to hot streaks and slumps. He could be more patient, but we've seen that that doesn't help his average at all, he could hit for more power, but we've seen that he just ends up with solo shots usually, or he could steal more, but with Beltre swinging behind him, 3 of ever 4 sbs are negated because of foul tips.
Next up is Beltre, who has shown flashes of being good. His power stroke is there, but I still think he's a 3 hitter, not a two hitter. The ideal 2 hitter would be a lefty, have a good eye for on base percentage and to allow Ichiro to steal, and have some speed. Hm.. That sounds a lot like Chris Snelling... Oh well. How's Vidro doing? After looking lost, he's shown power and a knack for hitting, making the "mini-Edgar" comparisons semi-valid. I'm liking what I'm seeing, but I don't think the trade was good still.
Next up is Raul Ibanez who for the price can do no better. His defense is still below average, and I'd prefer a great LF in Safeco, but with Vidro as a DH, there's nothing we can do.
Sexson looks to be about what he should be doing, hitting for power. Hopefully he can continue to draw the walks.
Jose Guillen is a lot like Beltre, power potential, not a lot of walks, not great numbers right now, but you can see the numbers that will unravel as the season unwinds.
Next up is Johjima, who is hitting amazingly, and is handling Felix and HoRam quite well. I'm loving him as our catcher for now.
Then comes up Betancourt, who is showing his usual penchant for hitting. His defense is still probably the best in the AL, and his power is looking better, but I'd like to see more walks, and less mental errors on defense.
Lastly is Lopez, who last year through the All Star Break looked amazing, but then decided that HRs weren't for him and groundballs were the way to go. So he hit an amazing shot last night but I'd like to see him let go and play like Beltre, pull-happy and free swinging.
For the Rotation, I'm thinking Washburn could be a decent number two behind Felix, and HoRam and Batista could be decent at the 3 and 4 position. Weaver is a spot holder right now, and I'd call up Jose Campillo right now. I'd eventually replace him with Feierabend or Morrow but Campillo is the most ML ready and he is a solid lefty. The Bullpen is surprisingly good considering our only setup arm left is George Sherrill sucked in Spring Training. Arthur Rhodes is out for the season, maybe forever, after looking great earlier. So our only real set up man is Mateo, which doesn't look good.
Anyways, Felix starts tonight so the Mariners should get a win tonight agains the Twins.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mariners Game Tonight: Why is Weaver Starting?

The Mariners are taking on the Twins tonight, pitting Jeff Weaver (0-1, 31.5 era) against Ramon Ortiz (2-0, 1.80 era). This will not end well. I don't usually predict scores, but I'm going to go ahead and guess at 10-2, or somewhere in that range (maybe 12-2!)

The Mariners have been given golden opportunities with game cancellations so far this season. If they wanted to, they could skip Weaver in the rotation and go with Felix for tonight since he has had five days rest. Are we at risk of insulting Weaver if we don't start him? Who the fuck cares? With Ortiz on the mound, we need a starter who can go more than two innings without giving up seven runs. Weaver's morale is not worth a guaranteed loss. He should have been dropped after his first start anyway.

Here's my line for Weaver: 2.1 IP, 7 hits, 6 ER, 2 hr and one very angry (and clueless) Mike Hargrove, who has perfected his impersonation of Dennis Hopper. Go M's!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mariners take 1st in the AL West

For now, the Mariners are 1st in the AL West. If the A's beat the Yanks (tied in the 8th right now), then it's a tie, but for now, we have a lead on the division, something I never thought would happen. But if Felix has made 2 of the 6 starts, it's easy for us to have a great record. I dread when we have to play 2 double headers with the Indians instead of having days off. For now, we look good. Our offense isn't coming around yet, but Guillen, Beltre, and Sexson look like they will start hitting soon. Washburn is looking like he might be worth the money we pay him, and Batista looks like he could be the solid 3rd man. Now if we just find someone to replace Weaver, I can see a run at the playoffs (either Morrow later, Feierabend now, or Baek/Woods now). Anyways, my pick to win the World Series, the Angels, are not doing so well because Colon and Weaver are still out, and now Escobar is back on the DL.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Felix & Ichiro vs. Matsuzaka

This matchup was every bit as good as advertised. Felix was dominant again, giving up a single and two walks in a complete game shutout. He gave up mainly ground balls, and there was good defense from Lopez, Betancourt, and Beltre. Matsuzaka looked pretty good as well, hitting up to 97 (probably really 94) on the gun with an assortment of pitches. 3 runs in 7 innings is pretty good, so Matsuzaka performed admirably. All in all, I'm glad I watched every pitch of that game.

2007 NFL Mock Draft Round 1 Second Half

17. Jacksonville – Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
This guy’s huge, 6-6 and almost 300 pounds. He has a great work ethic and does great in workouts. I could also definitely see Reggie Nelson or Patrick Willis here too, but I feel that they’d rather draft for need, then have depth for the next few seasons. I feel Carriker’s stock can only rise as the draft day continues.
18. Cincinnati – Patrick Willis, ILB, Mississippi
Most people have him going at 12 or so, but I felt that Marshawn Lynch was too good to pass up for Buffalo, and that the next few teams didn’t really have ILB as a need. For Cinci, Odell Thurman and Pollack both looked like good picks, but Thurman got in some trouble, and Pollack hurt his spine, so LB is a definite need.
19. Tennessee Titans – Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
As much as they need a WR, the 3 best ones are gone, so they go with Chris Houston, a workout warrior. With the fastest time in the 40, and 25 or so bench press reps, this guy is a beast. He also faced great competition in Meachem, Dwayne Jarrett, and Dwayne Bowe. His knock is his size, but if he held Jarrett in check, and benched that many times, then he must play bigger than he is.
20. NY Giants – Darelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Blazing time in the 4.3’s, he is probably more polished than Houston, but Houston’s combine performance puts him over the top. The Giants also need OLB, so they could take Posluszny, Timmons, Beason, or Aaron Ross for CB.
21. Denver – Jarvis Moss, DE/OLB, Florida
The three mock drafts I looked at, had him for this pick, so I guess I have to go with him. They need pass rushing, and he’s the best one available. They have a great linebacking trio, and Dre Bly solidifies their secondary, so this pick makes sense. If they trade down, they could take Anthony Spencer from Purdue. Every game I saw him play, he seemed to make a big tackle for a loss or sack on almost every drive.
22. Dallas – Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
I don’t see them taking a WR here because they already have two great ones. Their biggest problem last year was that they kept getting lit up with long passes. They have a decent secondary in Hamlin, Roy Williams, and Newman, but a CB like Ross would really help their secondary. Ross is aggressive, which is actually bad because so does Williams and Hamlin, but he runs in the 4.3s and faced good competition in the Big 12.
23. Kansas City – Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
They definitely need help at the WR position, and this has been a need for a while. He ran a really slow 40 at just 4.6, but so what? So did Jerry Rice. Jarrett has a knack for the end zone, and his 6-5 height gives him a great advantage. KC could also take Dwayne Bowe or Steve Smith, and CB is also a need, but I have all the CB’s taken on my draft so far.
24. New England (From Seattle) – Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State
They could take Beason or Timmons, but Posluszny just seems like a Pats kind of guy. Extremely hard worker, white, great leadership, team-first type of guy, great intangibles, and undervalued by other because of injury.
25. NY Jets – Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
Everyone has them taking a CB, but I think the CB’s will go early because they’re that good. So instead, I have the Jets picking Timmons, who is rated anywhere from 15th to 32nd pick. Most have him at 15th pick, so I can’t see him falling more than this spot. I can definitely see Timmons going higher, but I don’t see many teams needing an outside linebacker.
26. Philadelphia - Michael Griffin, S, Texas
Griffin is a great player, who should be great alongside Dawkins. He's a real hard hitter, but played some cornerback, so he can go deep in coverage as well. He has a crapload of tackles (250 in the last two years) and a good nose for the ball. I could see safety Reggie Nelson, WR Dwayne Bowe, or Jon Beason here, as they are all good players who fill positions of need.
27. New Orleans - Jon Beason, OLB, Miami
NO needs some defense. All the cornerbacks are gone, and after Okoye and Branch, the DT's have a serious dropoff. Beason has been projected as high as 18, but I think his size and bad combine performance will drop him this far.
28. New England - Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
Most people have NE taking a safety in the first round. Field Gulls' Mock Draft has them taking Eric Weddle, a guy from Utah, but that's because Reggie Nelson was gone at pick 14. This is a great pick for NE, as he has position versatility, which NE loves. Belichek also apparently loves Urban Meyer too, so, one more reason to draft Florida guys.
29. Baltimore - Joe Staley, T, Central Michigan
Another consensus pick. Everyone has Baltimore taking this guy, and its probably because he's not good enough to go higher, and Baltimore seriously needs line help. Staley could play G or T, and he used to be a TE. Seahawks fans are pretty high on this guy, as he has more upside than other because of his relative "rawness"
30. San Diego - Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
Everyone has San Diego taking a WR, but the question is who? There's only one left on my board, so they have to take Bowe. They could take Steve Smith, but Bowe has experience beign the number 1 guy, and he caught 1100 yards for 12 TDs last year. He's biggish at 6'2" 220, but only runs in the 4.5's, otherwise I'd be a lot higher on him, which is why he dropped all the way down to 30th pick.
31. Chicago - Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
Consensus best guard in the draft. The Bears are pretty deep at most positions, though I don't know if more line help could help Grossman's fumbling and deep INT problem. I could see a Steve Smith or Sydney Rice here, as WR is a position of need, but I'd be fine with their WR if I was them. Chicago does have an early 2nd round pick, so how much depth at one position is left at this point should dictate who they'll pick. For now I see them with Grubb, with a WR for the second pick if Smith or Rice are available.
32. Indiannapolis - Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
They need a DT or LB, but there just aren't many here. I'd trade down 5 or so picks if I were them. They'll probably get someone like Anthony Spencer, because he's their type of player, DE fast off the line, undersized, but disruptive. But they are stacked at that position, and really just need more run defense help. I can see them picking Marcus McCauley, a cornerback from Fresno State though. Basically something on defense is necessary.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Rotation

The Mariners are losing 12-1 while I write this...wait...13-1. As it turns out, Jeff Weaver is even worse than advertised. His potential replacement in the 5th starter spot, Woods, is apparently also garbage. Batista and Homirez, our 3rd and 4th starters, are terrible. The Mariners need to address our awful rotation immediately, or I guarantee, even if Felix wins 30 games, they will be in the division cellar.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Julian Wright declares for draft

After saying for a week or two that he was definitely staying at Kansas, Julian Wright has declared for the draft, but not hired an agent ( I don't think he's ready to do well in his first year in the NBA, but at the same time, if he goes out next year and hasn't performed any better, I think his "potential" will seem less enticing.

Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert are also both looking to declare.

This looks good for the Sonics, as the more the better. If Julian Wright pushes Brewer or Horford to fall to us, all the better.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fearsome Foursome from Florida decide to leave

So it's official. The four juniors are going to leave. I was going to write a piece on this sooner, but it was mainly going to be about how good Corey Brewer is, and Bill Simmons beat me to the punch.
I like how Simmons always tries to soiund smart, but shows off his own ignorance in the process. For instance, he talks about how Julian Wright disappeared in his final two games, and how he needs to go back to school. First of all, he already said he was going back to school, he promised his parents he'd graduate, and he is getting his degree in three years, and second of all, he didn't do well against UCLA or SIU, both great defensive schools.
Simmons does this a lot ( In this piece, he says the difference between the Red Sox and the Royals are that the Sox pay $104 million for a #3 starter, whereas the Royals give a anxiety disorder guy another chance. First of all, Matsuzaka isn't really a number 3 starter. He's their best starting pitcher already. Second of all, Greinke is a great prospect. Before the disorder, he was going to be their number one starter at a very young age. He is good enough to be on the Red Sox or Yankees roster, easily. Anyways, Simmons is just one of many writers who you like at first, then become more and more annoyed with, though I think the Red Sox becoming the new Yankees, and the Pats winning 3 SB makes him more annoying.
Anyways, of interest in his piece was the fact that Noah is 22 already. This lowers his stock drastically in my mind. The Final Four was a great stock-rasier for Brewer. I knew he was a great defender, and a pretty good slasher, but after the Final Four, everyone saw that he can shoot really well, and is pretty good at handling the ball, like a point forward. So what he seems like, is a Rashard Lewis, who can play great defense.
NBA Draft Rankings:
1. Greg Oden
His only weakness was offense and intensity, and he proved that he could do that and provide shut-down defense in the process, while going against 4 future NBA forwards.
2. Kevin Durant
I don't know why the Oden/Durant discussion is such a big topic, if you don't get Oden, you get an amazing player in Durant. Who would you rather have, Bill Russell with more offense, or a mix between McGrady and Kevin Garnett?
3. Corey Brewer
From barely lottery, to 3 overall? Definitely. Rashard Lewis with excellent defense? Yes please, sign me up. I was hoping the Sonics could get him, but he might have raised his stock too high. He's a great fit for when Rashard Lewis leaves, and he would help some of our defensive problems.
4. Al Horford
Not quite as good as Elton Brand, but he is 2 inches taller. He looks to be good, and if you saw him in the Purdue game, he was dominant and unstoppable. He has more offensive moves than you'd think.
5. Yi Jianlian
More on him later, but this kid can play. His "flaws" are the he isn't too strong, he can't shoot threes well, and he is a little sloppy fundamentally. I don't know, after watching tons of videos on him, I can seem being KG-lite. He's quick, tall, good dunker, fairly good all-around offensively. Of course he could be 23 already, but he could be only 20. Assuming his parents were married in 1985, and didn't conceive yet, he is probably 22 or 21. Which means to me that he is pretty damn good. He played pretty well against Team USA last time, and he has all the lookings of a future all-star.
6. Acie Law IV
I don't know why he's rated so low. He plays pretty good defense, he is a great distributor, great teammate, good shooter, and great hustler. I'd love to have him on my team. He's like Steve Nash, good passer until the end, he takes over and shoots a lot and makes a lot of clutch shots.
7. Jeff Green
Sure he disappeared in the last game, but he can be a great player, and has great all-around game. Many people liken him to Brandon Roy, and I think this is an accurate comparison.
8. Brandan Wright
I'm not too high on him. I don't know why everyone loves a 6'9" 220 pound PF with a big wingspan. I'd actually probably draft him earlier, but I'm knocking him down for now.
9. Spencer Hawes
Better than Noah. He is a great passer, great shot-blocker, and he has an array of offensive moves that makes you think wow. Sure he's not that athletic, but I think he'll be a solid center, especially if he lifts a bit more.
10. Thaddeus Young
I've heard about him for years. I think he'll be pretty good, but I'd rather be sure if he came back for another year. 6-8, super smart, and really athletic, so he looks like a good prospect.
11. Al Thornton
I love this guy, another super athletic 6'7" small forward. He had dominant numbers, he can score in myriad ways, and he is a good rebounder too. I'm not sure if he's as athletic as Marion, but he is not a bad comparison.
12. Marcus Williams
He took over games at times, and will be a great SF as well. I like this guy, and I think his numbers could have been a lot better if he had chose to be more of a ball hog, or if he was on another team.
13. Roy Hibbert
I think he's a big stiff. He'll be good for rebounds because of his size, and he gets a ton of blocks, but he's not too athletic. He's good because 7'2" guys are hard to come by, and his offensive skills are better than I though, but I can't get forget about his lack of athleticism.
14. Joakim Noah
He's 6'11" and can pass, block and rebound, so he's not that bad. But he couldn't guard Oden at all. I think he's lost his luster because his main attribute now is his "fire for the game".
Left off the list:
I don't think Conley Jr. is going to the NBA. He' d be at around 10 if he was. He needs to work on shooting, otherwise he's just going to be Andre Miller or TJ Ford. He could be a Chris Paul, and that's a pretty big difference.
I was once low on Josh McRoberts, but he actually performed pretty well last year. He will be a solid 3rd player, and he still has upside, so who knows, he could be good eventually. I wouldn't mind trading down and getting him, if we needed a pf, which we don't.
Nick Young is just on the cusp. I think he can be pretty good. He's a great all around player, and perhaps the best scorer in the Pac-10. I might put him higher later, but I'm not sure how athletic he is.

Dice-K off to a great start

Dice-K pitched 7 innings, allowed 6 hits, one walk, and one earned run on a homer and collected 10 k's. He mixed his 94 mph fastball with an assortment of breaking balls and offspeed pitches, worked his way out of a jam when he had to, and seemed to pick up speed as the game went along.
Some people may say that it's not too impressive, considering it was just the Royals, but the Royals aren't too bad. Dejesus is a great young prospect who should be like Coco Crisp (with the Indians), Esteban German hit 300 with a 400 obp in 100 games last year, and Teahen, Brown, Gordon, and Shealy are all great young hitters.
Anyways, I was being a little hesitant about Dice-K before, but this start confirms my thoughts that after Santana, he'll probably be the best pitcher in the league. He's experienced, he's new to the league so batters don't know his tendencies or pitches as well, and he has a great fastball mixed with good command and great secondary positions. His change up is great, and his slider/curve has great movement on it, practicably unhittable. He has 4 plus pitches is unheard of, and I think he'll win a few Cy Youngs when all is said and done.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

WNBA draft

WNBA draft is going on right now, and I know most people don't care, and I don't really either.
As expected, Lindsey Harding of Duke went first, but she was then traded to Minnesota for the fourth pick and other considerations. Anyways, the Storm had the 7th pick, and with it, we chose Katie Gearlds of Purdue. As she walked up to the podium, I thought she was a man with long hair, but nope, she was a woman. Anyways, she averages about 19 points 3 assists, 4 rebounds on 46% shooting and 39% 3-point shooting. I'm not sure what the shooting means, because despite using a smaller ball and having a closer three line, women still manage to shoot worse. What I do know however is that the Storm have the best PGs and one of the best PFs in the league. The Storm also have a pretty good SG in Betty Lennox whow as the Finals MVP when the Storm won the title and a decent C in Jannell Burse (Who's 6-5). Which means, yes, we need a SF because our lineup is 5-9, 5-8, 6-5, and 6-5 without their SF. So we drafted Gearlds, a 6-1 SF who shoots fairly well on threes. Nothing to complaing about right? Wrong. Even if you know almost nothing about women's basketball, I'm sure you've heard of Allison Bales or Ivory Latta from Duke and UNC respectively. Anyways, they were both still available, and subsequently taken with the 9th and 11th picks. Sure, our strongest positions are Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, but if we had Bales, Jackson could focus more on offense, leaving Bales, a great rebounder and excellent shot blocker to be the defensive stopper, sort of like David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Same with Latta and Bird, Bird is a phenomal scorer, and having Latta there to distribute more and guard the opposing team's PG would free up Bird to take over at the end of the games more often and be less tired. I hope that Gearlds works out, but I hope that this isn't a Need pick in the make of Sam Bowie over Jordan because we already have a Drexler type pick.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mariners win home opener

Felix looked absolutely dominating. Our offense wasn't awesome, but the umpire was calling balls a foot out of the zone strikes, so it's hard to get the offense going. The A's made some bonehead plays on defense to help us win, and Sexson hit what looked like a fly out over the center field wall, showing off his muscles in the process.
Best news of all, Hernandez went 8 innings with 12 K's 2BBs and 3 hits, with a 14 GB to 1 FB ratio in a Cy-Young performance. None of our hitters looked like all-stars, but we had some good at bats and a few hard hits. Overall, a good feel to what could be a season of destiny.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Final Four down to 2

So, the Final Two is just as I predicted, Florida and Ohio State. If I were an Ohio State fan, I might hope that Oden and Conley suck it up and the lose, so next year they will both come back with the addition of their 7 foot McDonald's All-American freshman. If OSU wins, I'm thinking that both of them leave and sign with Mike Conley Sr. Florida should win this game though, since Oden should have trouble with a poor-man's Garnett and Elton Brand (Noah and Horford). Of course, OSU showed against GTown that they didn't need Oden to win. Despite all the big names, this game might be decided more by the swingmen and the shooters. Butler and Lewis for OSU, and Green and Humphrey for Florida should have more of an impact then they realize. I never can tell if these guys make it easier down low for Oden, Noah, and Horford, or if the shooterse make it easier for the guys down low. Anyways, I picked Florida at the beginning of the tournament, and I'm sticking to it.
Lets have a recap of Saturday nights Games though.
Roy Hibbert did not dominate as much as he should have. I didn't think he'd do that well against Oden because I believe Oden is Bill Russell incarnate with 2 inches of height, and more offensive skill, but when Oden got 2 quick fouls, I felt that while Hibbert did get a lot of easy buckets, he could have got more. They should have made it more of an effort to give him the ball. Do you think 6-8 Twilliger or 6-9 Hunter would do anything against a guy who's 7-2? Green, the Big East player of the year, and likely top 10 pick, had 9 points on 5 shots, which is great if you're a role player, but for a star player, I want him taking at least 15 shots. Another problem with Georgetown is that while Wallace played well, Summers stunk up the place, and the bench provided 0 points. I've heard talks that both Hibbert and Green might return, and while I don't know if either of them will need it because they'll be drafted at the 8th and 12th picks right now, I can see how the allure of one more year of college ball for a prestigious degree at Georgetown University might be enticing. Georgetown's stars might also want to come back to "prove something", because they just seemed to play half-hearted. I think the fact that they were down at half with Oden having played very little made them believe that they had no shot. Whatever the case was, I would just go to the NBA for both of them, but staying would be cool too, no wrong choice here. If Green stays, I'd try to be more assertive at the end of games like Law was, and if Hibbert stays, I'd try to beef up a bit so I don't have to wear a silly t-shirt.
For the Florida game, I knew from the beginning that UCLA was going to lose. UCLA is the type of team that will have trouble against teams with 2 good big men (Washington, UNC, Florida), and it showed early. Having Afflalo get two quick cheap fouls didn't help out at all either. Florida only won by 10, but it seemed like a whole lot more. Chris Richard, a big man any team would love to have starting for them except for maybe UNC and of course Florida, was 7 for 7 with 16 points off the bench. Mbah a Moute, UCLA's best "big man" on the other hand fouled out in just 19 minutes of play. I don't want to blame the refs, but the calls did seem a bit one sided. I mean, how do 2 of your 4 best players foul out in 19 and 22 minutes combined? Of course it probably wouldn't have mattered. Noah and Horford with their 28 rebounds outrebounded UCLA by 3 as it is, and Brewer made 4 of 5 from 3 land to complement Humphrie's 4 for 8 and make up for Green's 1 for 7.
Anyways, Monday's game should be exciting, but I might miss tipoff because the M's game might overlap, and who wouldn't want to see Felix dominate opening day against the hated A's (hated only because their management is so much better than ours, and because they smoked us last year head to head and record comparison)