NBA Draft Reform

S.Samek

The NBA made some changes to the draft. The chance for each team to win the first overall pick has gone down to 14 percent for the three worst teams. Some of the other teams to rank low see their chances going up.

Though the common critique of this draft system is that it promotes tanking. That trying to lose games on purpose to steal the top pick and hope to develop them into franchise changing superstars.
The moves were made to try and curb the tanking. Thinking that even if you finish say with the fifth, or sixth worst record you have a better chance than you did in the past to get a number one pick. You’ll have more of an incentive to win a couple extra games.
I think they system is the way it is. It theory the tank get superstars, may work it may not. It’s the same in every sport too, not just basketball. Just because your drafted number one overall does not guarantee a title. Heck it doesn’t guarantee any degree of success.
True you could be the transcendent talent your team seeks. There’s no doubt Laron James was what Cleveland wanted him to be. Sidney Crosby, or Mario Lemieux saved the Penguins and won them cups. It can work to select your team this way.
Though for every superstar you need role players. Crosby can’t play four other positions and goalie now can he. Even Michael Jorden needed Scotty Pippen and three other guys on the floor with him. What’s to say some of the elite players couldn’t hold their own going one on five. I doubt it though. That’s why it’s a team sport. One person can’t win the game all alone. They can help, make that one big play happen, or score the game winner, but they needed some help to get to that moment.

Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons has a solution better than the draft. Cancel the draft and all rookies that would be eligible become free agents. The teams sign them and try and stay under the salary cap.

It’s a cool idea. They only problem is what’s stopping all the top picks from trying to sign in one place and form a super team. My only way to stop that would be the salary cap.
What’s wrong with forming super teams. I think you should try and build a super team and go out and win titles. Though if you can keep some degree of fairness to stop it from just being blowout after blowout and having the same team win all the time that would be nice to.
Fun think about sports though is that the best team doesn’t always win. The underdog after gets their day and upsets the super team it challenges. Sports are not won on paper they are won on the court, or field. Singing the best free agents doesn’t guarantee you win the championship, or even make the playoffs. Case and point this season with the Washington Mystic’s who only made it to the semi-finals after having the best offseason. Yes, they made the playoffs and had more success than past years, but still didn’t win it all.

Drafts are part of the fun, they are a major event for fans. It would be losing out on a great marketing tool to get rid of the draft.
They system isn’t perfect, but at least give it a try to see if it works. Then if not just vote to change it.

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2017 ALDS Preview

S. Samek

Moving past the wild card game to set up each division series. Here would be my pick for team s advancing to the Championship series. Starting with the American League.
Our first match up is the Indians and Yankees. The Yankees are fresh off an 8-4 win in Tuesdays wild card game. While Luis Severino did not look good in that game it shouldn’t matter as the Yankees bullpen looked good. Severino should be able to rebound and pitch closer to the dominance he saw during the regular season if he is needed in this series.

Aaron Judge, homered in the wild card game and had 52, tops in the American League during the regular season.  Gary Sanchez hit 33 homers as well. The power is there for New York.

Cleveland wins plan and simple. The won last year’s American League championship and lost in the World series final game. They won 102 games this season, most in the American League and second most in all of MLB.

They own the record for wins in a row all time as they strung together 22 wins during the season. They have a 42-8 record in the past 50 games.
They pitch well. Indians bull pen has the best era, while their starters have the second best. Cory Kluber leds this staff with a 1.62 era in his last 23 starts.

The Indians can hit too. Edwin Encarnacion had the big stick with 38 homers this year. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez also combine for 62 long balls this season. If the Yankees have power, so do the Indians.

Cleveland has a 58.3 percent chance to win according to ESPN and I agree. Indians win.

Next matchup is Houston and Boston.

Houston won 101 games, third best overall record. The have four great pitchers in the rotation, led by Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. They have strong hitters like Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick and George Springer. They are a complete team built to compete.

The Red Sox won the East division and 93 games. The have a rotation with Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello. Offensively they have Mookie Betts and his 24 home runs. Betts does well against ground ball pitchers, like Keuchel and should be able to give Boston a nice boost on offense.

think Houston’s depth in the rotation should be able to send them on, when combined with a strong hitting core. Astros take this series.

 

 

 

 

Week 5 Pick Them

S. Samek

Went 9-7 last week to  put the previous week back in place. Still over .500 at 35-26.

Patriots @ Buccaneers

Jets @ Browns

Panthers @ Lions

49ers @ Colts

Titans @ Dolphins

Bills @ Bengals

Chargers @ Giants

Jaguars @ Steelers

Cardinals @ Eagles

Seahawks @ Rams

Ravens @ Raiders

Packers @ Cowboys

Chiefs @ Texans

Vikings @ Bears

 

 

PBA Oil Patterns Update

S.Samek

Despite not being the most popular sport anymore bowling is achiving a big milestone. The PBA tour has lasted 60 seasons in 2017-2018. To mark this occasion a bit of change is in order. Namely the oil patterns.
16 patterns will be used during the events of the 2017-2018 season. Eight of them are designated as animal patterns, seven has legends and one more for the Chris Paul tournament. Three of the legends are for major tournament play. Two of these are brand new patterns, while some have been readjusted.
The Chris Paul is named after the NBA player and Bowling ambassador. It is said to play like a typical house shot you would see during league, or open play. It should make for some high scoring numbers.
The dragon is the newest animal pattern. It sits at 45 feet in length and is designed to be on the harder side to play and score well.

The Cheetah at 33 feet, chameleon at 39, Scorpion 42, Shark 45, Earl Anthony 42, Don Johnson 40 pattern, Carmen Salvino 44, Dick Weber 45, Mark Roth 42 Wolf 33, Viper 36, Bear 39 and Johnny Petraglia 36 patterns join up to finish the set of oil patterns. The badger at 52 feet is out of the rotation and has an unknown status.

I like how the PBA is changing it up. It makes it more challenging to have new patterns. Rearranging the patterns can also make it harder and more competitive as players try to adjust to the changes. All the patterns can be seen here.

 

Wild Card Predicts 2017

S.Samek

As the calendar tunes from September to October it means its football season right. Not quite as its baseball playoff time. The first game of the playoffs goes down tonight with the American League Wild Card Game.

This matchup is the Twins and Yankees. The Twins seem to be big under dogs in this one. The Yankees seem to have an advantage at most of the positions on the field.

The Bronx Bombers also won six games more than the Twinkies. During the most recent series between the two It was New York sweeping a three-game set.

The Pitching matchup seems to be getting the most attention. The Yankees are sending Luis Severino against Ervin Santana. Severino is dominate with a 2.98 era against Santana’s 3.36. It’s not a huge difference, but maybe just enough of an edge to give the Yanks the win.

If era isn’t it would be the stakeout numbers. Severino sends hitters back to the dugout at almost a 30 percent clip. This is ten percent better than Santana. That’s about a third of Twins hitters not getting on base. You don’t get on base you don’t score. No runs scored, you don’t win the game.

Santana doesn’t also fare well in Yankee stadium. He is 0-5 with a 6.43 era there.

Minnesota does have Byron Buxton to watch though. Buxton hit .253 with 16 homers and 51 rbi during the year. However, he is hitless against Severino.

New York counter punches with Aaron Judge. Judge had 52 long balls this season while hitting .284.

Gary Sanchez also has 33 homers for New York, making there no shortage of power for the Yankees. Santana has also given up seven homers while pitching in Yankee stadium, so there’s plenty to be worried about if you’re a Twins fan.
Yankees win this one.
In the second wild card game the National League has the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona won 93 games to Colorado’s 87 games. Both finishing behind the 104-win Dodgers. It’s the same Dodgers that loom on the horizon for the winner of this game.
Colorado should make this a competitive game with big hitters such as Charlie Blackman, Noland Arenado and Carlos Gomez. Gomez has homered five times and has 14 hits in 42 at bats against Zac Greinke, who looks to get the ball for Arizona.

The Snakes have Paul Goldschmidt and a resurging J.D Martinez to help power them. This should be enough to overcome the Rockies. This one should be close though.

 

Ray Lewis Statue

S.Samek

The NFL had an interesting weekend to say the least. It doesn’t seem like the news of the national anthem kneeling’s is going away anytime soon.
Amongst the kneelers was ex-player Ray Lewis, who took the field to kneel with Ravens teammates. This being the first such case of ex-players doing so.

As a result of this an online petition has been started to take out a statue of Lewis from Raven Stadium. The petition has over 39,000 signatures as of September 27,2017 afternoon. This is from people not liking him taking the knee.

Though it’s funny how over a month ago Lewis was telling Colin Kaepernick to stay away from the social activism.

I would stand with the petitioners. Not because of the kneeling, or stance on social activism though.

It’s because Lewis should be in jail. Lewis did have double murder charges dropped.

Then he was allowed back to the NFL and played a total of 13 years with Baltimore. So if you want to glorify Lewis for being involved with criminal activity go ahead and leave the statue up.

If your just doing this in response to the kneeling, which they have every right to do no matter what you think of it then no, it’s outrageous.

 

Rick Pitino Out

S.Samek

To build a strong athletics team you need good coaching and strong players. Ones that will do anything to have success at the sport. Sometimes this comes with not playing by the rules as a way to achieve victory on the field.
Recently there was a bribing scandal in the NCAA involving an Adidas executive and four assistant coaches. One of these schools under investigation is Louisville.
Because of this investigation Louisville has decided to put head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino on administrative leave.
Louisville’s athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave as well.
This isn’t the first time the Cardinals have made headlines off the court. A 2015 scandal may result in a forfeit of the 2013 national title. A 2010 incident involving extortion also took place.
Pitino was a good coach in terms of getting results. He owns a .744 winning percentage sense 2001-2002. Three of those seasons he led the Cardinals to the final four.

It will be tough to replace him for sure. However, it was best to see him go. It’s not the first, or even second time something like this has happened to the program. Best if they just let him go and figure this whole mess out.

Then get a new coach and have the players focus on playing basketball. Louisville looks to still be able to contend for a top 10 spot in the nation, even without their head coach. They also had the seventh best odds at 15-1 to win this seasons title going into the season. This could change after Pitino got fired. The season starts on Oct. 30 against Kentucky Wesleyan for the Cardinals.