Thursday, December 27, 2007

2001-2002 Warriors vs. 2007-2008 T-wolves: Somebody has to win

As I was watching the 2007 Warriors play the 2007 T-wolves, I could not help but think: “this T-wolves team is better than their record indicates.” While I am right, I need a way to prove it. What evidence could I present? What past precedents could I sight? Then it hit me: compare them to a team whose record will inevitably be better come the end of the season, but was infinitely more flawed. And I knew just the team to use – the 2001-2002 Golden State Warriors: final record 21-61.

(NOTE: I was a partial season ticket holder for the Warriors that year and everything in my memory bank tells me that this team had no right winning 10 games let alone 21)

Starting Lineup

(I am using the starting lineup for the T-wolves on Wednesday, December 19, 2007).

Point Guard: Larry Hughes v. Sebastian Telfair

In the 01-02 season, Larry Hughes could not pass, dribble or shoot (Actually his whole career he has never been able to pass, dribble or shoot). While he did play above-average defense and was quicker than everyone on the floor, he was a nightmare on offense. He shot 43% from the field including 33% from three that year and these stats paint a much brighter picture than what was actually happening.

Question: How could a guy who was no threat to do anything right on offense start at point guard?

Answer: The back-ups were Mookie Blaylock (over the hill – actually he wasn’t even on the hill), Dean Oliver (Dean Oliver??) and Gilbert Arenas (it is illegal to start second round rookies in the NBA. Just ask Mike Montgomery).

Sebastian Telfair is … well … the 07-08 version of the 01-02 Larry Hughes. However his upside is much more limited and he is never going to get overpaid the way Hughes gets overpaid. I guess I should never say never.

Question: How is Sebastian Telfair still in the league?

Answer: Good NBA point guards are about as hard to find as NFL quarterbacks, so they think mediocre young point guards may get better by being in the league for a couple of years. This theory has worked really well - Anthony Carter (Nuggets), Smush Parker (Heat), Earl Watson (Sonics), Charlie Bell (Bucks) etc.

Advantage: Larry Hughes (he is taller than Telfair)

Shooting Guard: Jason Richardson v. Rashad McCants

Richardson was the real bright spot of the 01-02 season for the Warriors. Anyone who knows me knows I have been preaching a trade for the last three years because he plays ZERO defense (I am looking pretty smart right about now). Unlike most NBA players, it is not because he is lazy but because his feet are stuck in cement. We learned this fact about him during this terrible season and we also learned he can’t dribble. However, his work could not be questioned and he was the team’s most valuable player (Save me the Jamison MVP BS – we will get to him next).

Many of you don’t know that Rashad McCants won the “Chris Carrawell Award” at the ’05 draft. (For those of you who don’t know, the Chris Carrawell award is given to the player most likely to be a terrible pro from a good ACC team). Instead of listing what I don’t like about his game, I will list everything (and I mean everything) I do.

1) He can knock down a jumper if he is wide open
2) If one of his teammates gets in a pushing match on the floor, he is the one most likely to throw the first punch that starts a brawl

Advantage: Jason Richardson (by a long shot)

Small Forward: Antawn Jamison v. Corey Brewer

Jamison was/is a tweener and there is no better a year to prove this fact than the 01-02 season. He could not make a three with any kind of consistency, so he was not a 3. He could not guard anyone down low so he was not a 4. He could not dribble so he was not a basketball player. He led the team in scoring which indicates how bad the Warriors were (think Iguodala on the Sixers this year). The media always says “he is not afraid to take the big shot.” Columnists usually mean this statement as a compliment. In Jamison’s case it was to our detriment.

After saying all that about Jamison, Brewer only has two advantages over Jamison:
1) He is a small forward and there is no doubt about that
2) He can dribble so he is in fact a basketball player.

Brewer could turn out to be a good NBA player but, for this argument, he does not size up with Jamison

Advantage: Antawn Jamison (reluctantly)

Power Forward: Danny Fortson v. Craig Smith

When the Warriors acquired Danny Fortson, I was pretty excited. We finally had a hard working guy down low who would grab 11 boards a night and provide stability on our frontline. I was right about the boards. However, his teammates seemed to like him as much as Vincent Ludwick liked Frank Drebin in Naked Gun. I went into every game thinking this would be the game Dampier cold-cocks Fortson while running down the floor. In the end, I think Fortson is as much to blame for the dismal 01-02 season as anybody.

Craig Smith finally “puts one in the win column” (seriously, how does Joe Angel still have a job as an announcer) for the T-wolves. This guy is averaging 21 minutes a game but still manages to grab 4 boards and score 11 points. His numbers are only going to improve as the season goes on. Craig Smith wins this head to head and I would bet all future head-to-heads with Danny Fortson.

Advantage: Craig Smith

Center: Erick Dampier v. Al Jefferson

Hold on. I need to stop laughing – really who spells Eric like that? (I guess who spells Monte, Monta? – It must be a Mississippi thing). Dampier was the biggest clown on the three ring circus that was 01-02 Warriors basketball. He did nothing right (including not punching out Fortson, which would have saved the season). He played with as much heart as the tin man and he stole minutes from Foyle who would have at least tried. Remember when I said, “I think Fortson is as much to blame for the dismal 01-02 season as anybody?” I was wrong – Dampier should take the most blame of all the players.

Al Jefferson is going to be a 10 time All-Star when everything is said and done. He is always looking to go to the rim and almost seems disappointed when he takes a jump shot. His defense leaves something to be desired, but when you are carrying most of the load on the offensive end, it is hard to bring it every time down on the other end, just ask Kobe. Jefferson’s going to fill 20 and 10 in over the next 10 years without hesitation and I think these numbers might be conservative.

(BIG) Advantage: Al Jefferson

The Bench

Bench: Arenas, Mills, Foyle and Sura v. Jaric, Gomes, Green and Walker

It is hard to remember how good Arenas was before he became “Agent Zero,” but I will do my best. He did not get much playing time until later on in the year. When he did get in there, he played with a lot of energy. Mills and Sura could not guard a flag pole, but they could score. (Did anyone look more stoned on the court that Chris Mills?). Adonal Foyle was, well Adonal Foyle.

Jaric is like the Steve Bono of basketball – nice back-up, but a terrible starter. (Of course, he still might be better as a starter than Telfair). Gomes is a solid contributor down low and I would love it if the current Warriors could get him. He is on the short side of NBA front courts (6’7”), but he plays bigger and I think he could help us against the likes of Millsap (Jazz) and Turiaf (Lakers). The X-factor that ultimately gives the T-wolves the advantage is Antoine Walker. I know you’re saying “Antoine Walker is terrible.” I could not agree more but he has turned into – gulp – a team player. He was actually cheering during the game last night. Rumor has it that he has become a mentor to the young players, and that can only help this team. They have no choice but to improve and Antoine Walker may be a big part of that improvement.

Advantage: T-wolves


The 2001-2002 Warriors win the first of many head-to head battles but not by as much as you think. Jason Richardson and Antawn Jamison are too much for this team of youngsters, but Jefferson does go for 40 and 20 on a combination of Warriors big men. Now the only question is, will the 08-09 T-wolves make a 17 game improvement the same way the 03-04 Warriors did?

Please join me next time as we finally answer one of life’s biggest questions – Who is the most valuable first round quarterback - Alex Smith, Ryan Leaf or David Carr?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thoughts From the Weekend

* For anyone who thinks Baron Davis is not an “IT” player (posting coming soon), needs to watch this past Lakers-Warriors game from Friday. I still have no idea how the Warriors won that game.

* If you are going to “mail-it-in” (go through the motions and lose), a game that starts at 9:30am Pacific in Detroit is a pretty good one to do it in. However, I would appreciate it if Nellie would let me know next time so I could have put money on it.

* The Saturday following the Kentucky-IU game is a TERRIBLE sports day.

* Trivia question (think Jeopardy): Over-the-hill veteran who is bringing down his Hall of Fame legacy by refusing to retire – then, through what seems like “a miracle,” returns to dominating form at an age where he has no right being this good again.
a) Who is Roger Clemens?
b) Who is Brett Favre?
c) Who are both Roger Clemens and Brett Favre?

Of course, it’s a) Who is Roger Clemens – right … right???


* Could the Mitchell Report have been more comprehensive? I say no. Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows that the majority of steroid users are Americans.

* Anyone who thinks people in foreign countries do steroids are just closed minded Americans who know nothing about the world.

* I applaud George Mitchell for not going to Japan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Venezuela. No one in these countries would even dream of doing steroids.

* Allow me to paint a picture in your head:

You are a young teen in the Dominican Republic and you meet the man who built the school you attended and the baseball facility you practice at. This man’s name is Sammy Sosa. Of course, you don’t think of him as a role model because he took steroids (allegedly). In fact, along with the rest of your friends, you refuse to shake his hand because you would rather be poor and clean than take steroids and be rich and famous.

* You know Sammy Sosa has learned his lesson because this type of treatment in his own country must be terrible.

* Finally, I have to applaud you, Senator, Judge, Lawyer, Captain Integrity, Chairperson of the Red Sox George Mitchell for finding a way to make the Yankees the biggest offenders of the steroid era when every baseball fan in the world knows that it was the San Francisco Giants. This unbiased and indiscriminating persecution has brought your integrity to new heights.


* The lesson to be learned for all you young ball players out there – if you are going to take steroids, please do it in a foreign country because no one will catch you (Also, it doesn’t hurt to play for the Red Sox).

* A graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School (my less-than-illustrious alma mater), Greg Camarillo, caught the game winning touchdown for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and I still cannot believe it. It was the first touchdown of his career.

* In equally improbable news, the Bengals still cannot beat the Niners.

* Talk to you later in the week.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rowand? Not Bad

What is my take on the Aaron Rowand signing?

Simply put , I like it. (You know that means that this is a great deal because I am genetically predisposed to rip anything the Giants do.)

I will use other Giants fan’s opinions (completely unknowledgeable and moronic) taken from the San Jose Mercury blog site to prove why I like this signing.

* “HORRIBLE! WREEKS! Reminds me of Durham, Aurillia, and Roberts’ signings . . .”
Last time I checked, none of these guys were even close to 30 years old when the Giants signed them. Here are the facts: Rowand will have already gone through free agency again by the time he is as old as any of the above three players are currently. All three of the guys above play little to no defense, while Rowand is a Gold Glove center fielder and is arguably a better hitter than all three. And by the way, there’s a big difference between having 30 candles on your cake, and having 35 candles on your cake.

* “The price isn’t terrible, but 5 years is too long and Rowand’s offensive numbers are inflated by the parks in Chicago and Philly where he has played . . .”
Where does everybody get this “5 years is too long” idea? News Flash: If you are unwilling to do the “extra” year, then you are not going to sign anybody (unless the guy’s name is Zito, then you are bidding against yourself and end up looking stupid). If you are a position player, why would you want to freeze your ass off and play in a pitchers park if you don’t get the “extra” year? The Giants had to go for the 5th year.

* “We are loaded with outfield talent.”
I wish I had made this up, but i didn't. Check out the link above, this guy is #27 and delusional. I am laughing out loud right now.

* “Last place is guaranteed. This off-season was lost when Sabean didn’t get Cabrera and Willis.”
As any good lawyer would say, in making this statement you are using two flawed assumptions (Ben be prepared to be proud):
1) After acquiring Willis and Cabrera, last place would not be guaranteed.
2) The Marlins were interested in enough of our players that they would have made such a trade.
3) Firing Dick Tidrow is not a good idea (I had to throw that in there).

* “What happened to not signing old men who are coming out of their prime, not entering it?”
First a question: Who is older, Aaron Rowand or Eric Brynes?
You know the answer and you also know that if we would have signed him, this would never have been posted. 30 years of age is not exactly old for a baseball player. There are plenty of examples of guys who have performed well in their early to mid-30s and I am not going to bother to list them.

* “I have studied both the Giants and Yankees roster and here is a trade that will benefit both teams, minimize Giants salary obligations, preserve the core of their pitching staff and make the Giants an immediate contender in 2008: Giants trade Jonathan Sanchez, Rajai Davis, Steve Kline, Rich Aurillia and Dave Roberts to Yanks for Hideki Matsui, Wilson Betemit, and Shelley Duncan . . .”
Laughing out loud again – why don’t we just offer them Molina for Jeter – seems to make about the same amount of sense.

* “Talk about a tough crowd. Some fans have unrealistic expectations and want to fix a broken ship in one season. I think the best we can hope for is a competitive team on the field to play solid defense to allow Giants pitching to develop. What’s not to like about a Gold Gove CF who is relatively young . . .”
Now thats what Im talking about! We have a winner and his name is Bob #20 on the above link

This lone brilliant comment leads me nicely into my take on the situation:

First of all, you have to give the guy a break on the offensive numbers. While he is probably not the answer to the Giants offensive woes, he does play a Gold Glove center field without the miles on the tires of Andruw Jones or the bloated contract of Torii Hunter. (Note, neither of these guys is the answer to the offense either). Are Rowand’s numbers going to fall playing in Pac Bell Park? Yes. Would any player coming from any other team not named the Marlins see their production drop at Pac Bell Park? Again, yes. The offensive numbers bashing is ridiculous because no one, save you-know-who, will be able to put up huge numbers in San Francisco.

Zito, Cain, Lincecum and Lowry are going to have a tough season in 2008. They are going to lose numerous 1 and 2 run baseball games because the offense can’t score runs. The Giants needed to add someone that was going to directly help the pitching staff and Rowand will do just that. Giants fans are going to be amazed by his range and arm in center and no one will appreciate it more than the pitchers. Without Rowand, Cain and Lincecum will likely try to force a trade by midseason based on unprecedented frustration. With Rowand, they will no doubt continue to be frustrated by their win-loss record, but they will have more confidence to challenge hitters knowing that they have a guy in center who can make plays. The biggest assets of the team got a whole lot happier today.

I like this move.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Thoughts from the weekend:

* Let me get this straight –
1) Shaq tells the media that he should get the ball more
2) Team gives the ball to Shaq more and he doesn't miss a shot. Team is up 10 for most of the game
3) Team’s coach sits Shaq for the last 5 minutes of the game and team loses by 7

* Shaq doesn't know what he is talking about (sarcasm).

* When are we going to learn that when a coach retires (Lloyd Carr,
Michigan) or makes a lateral move (Tubby Smith, Kentucky) that the team he is leaving is going to be terrible?

* The following is from the Chronicle on Saturday:

The worst part about the chaotic BCS is that even a playoff system doesn't sound right this year. Sixteen teams is too many - that removes all suspense from the regular season - and an eight-team field would leave out the team everyone wants to see under big-time pressure, Hawaii (the one must-see bowl game is Hawaii-Georgia)”

1) If only someone could come up with a playoff system that is neither 16 teams nor 8 teams that made sense . . .
2) The Hawaii-Georgia game is only must see if
a) Your son plays for either team
b) You have money on
Georgia (because you are going to win no matter what the line is)
c) Someone is holding a gun to your head saying “you must watch this game or I will kill you”
3) Ben, are you still interested in taking
Hawaii +14?

* I love this time of year in the NFL. Half the teams in the league mail it in. (Raiders, Niners, Vikings (and they won), Chiefs, Panthers, etc.)

* December NFL Action: "its fantastic!" (Get it? Because in the NBA, they mail it in all the time, and "its fantastic!" was their old slogan - you probably knew that)

* Do you think Bill Cowher "retired" to spend more time with his family or because he knew his team would not be able to compete with the Patriots and the Colts?

* Lamar Odom is the Gary Sheffield of basketball - lots of talent, team chemistry killer.

* After the 2005 NBA Draft, I had the following conversation with my dad:
Dad: "Hello"
RT: "Dad, did you see who the Warriors drafted?"
Dad: "I have already told your mother to get me an Ike jersey" (my
dad went to
Arizona State)
RT: "I like the pick but I just know we are going to look back on
this draft 10 years from now and it will be called the Andrew Bynum
draft." (the Warriors took Ike Diogu with the 9th pick and the Lakers
took Bynum with the 10th pick)
Dad: "You are probably right"

* I hate being right.

* Best possible sign a Warriors fan could bring to
Staples Center this year: "Its our time down here."

* Of course, it helps if you win the game.

* I refuse to add the Lakers to the list of teams the Warriors can't beat, but you know what I am thinking ...

* Finally, the Lakers should never wear white jerseys and the Warriors should be kicked out of the league for wearing anything other than their throwbacks.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Inspiration for WTC

This post is exactly why I created this website!!!!!!!

I did not plan on posting anything else this week, but now I have to.

The following was taken out of a San Jose Mercury article after the Warriors pasted the Bucks on Wednesday:

Back in June, when the NBA draft came and highly touted Chinese forward Yi Jianlian went, some Warriors fans wondered aloud why their club traded up for raw forward Brandan Wright at No. 8 but wouldn't bear the extra cost to move a couple of slots higher and snag the more polished Yi.

Wednesday, those doubters received their answer. While Yi toiled fruitlessly for the Milwaukee Bucks, the team that plucked him with the No. 6 pick, the Warriors managed just fine without him. Golden State used some season-best numbers at both ends of the floor to post its widest margin of victory this season, 120-90.

Anyone who knows me knows how pissed off I am right now. I will try to harness my emotions to convey some lucid thoughts through this posting (I am so mad I don’t know where to start).

1) “the Warriors managed just fine without [Yi]”
Last time I checked, we have been managing just fine without Wright. The Bucks didn’t pick Yi because they thought they could go to the Finals this year with him, just like the Warriors didn’t pick Wright because they thought he was the missing link last year in the playoffs. How can you start an article arguing why the Warriors are better off not giving up a little more to get Yi and then make an argument that is completely irrelevant! The draft is used to build for the future in the long-term.

2) “Wednesday, those doubters received their answer”
I want you to find one doubter who was thinking – “If Yi comes here and we beat his team by 30, I will know we made the right decision, because everybody knows that how a rookie performs in the second of back-to-back road games in his first 6 weeks in the NBA defines his career.” I may be crazy but I think the doubters (including me) are thinking that a 7 foot power forward that runs the floor like a guard might have a place on the Warriors roster. Not to mention, he can shoot a 10 footer and make it consistently (I don’t think Biedrins can do that).

3) “[the Warriors] wouldn’t bear the extra cost to move a couple of slots higher and snag the more polished Yi”

The key assumption in this statement is that “the extra cost” to the Warriors would have outweighed the benefit of having a “more polished Yi” over a “raw” Brandon Wright. So let’s explore that “extra cost” …

The Bucks have a glut of forwards (Bogut, Villanueva, Simmons, Gadzuric) so adding Yi was not exactly a “need” pick (A need pick is when a team takes a specific player because of the position he plays as opposed to just taking the best player available).

Consider the following hypothetical scenarios this past Draft Day, June 28th, 2007:
a) The Warriors trade Wright, Belinelli (or the pick used to take Belinelli) and anyone not named Monta Ellis or Andris Biedrins to the Bucks for Yi.
b) The Warriors trade Wright and next years first round pick to the Bucks for Yi.
c) The Warriors trade Belinelli, Pietrus and next year’s first round pick to the Bucks for Yi.

Unfortunetly, all of these trades make sense for both teams and the “extra cost” for the Warriors would not have come close to outweighing the difference between having Yi over Wright.

The bottom line here is that one game does not make or break a career. Saying that the doubters got their “answer” is ridiculous. As a loyal Warriors fan, I would love to see Brandon Wright go the way of Chris Bosh instead of Cliff Rozier (how about that for an old Warriors reference), but I don’t foresee that happening. In addition, if you strapped Mullin to a chair, gave him a shot of truth serum, and asked him a question he would normally lie to (like “did you honestly think Patrick O’Bryant would be a great NBA player?"), he would most likely tell you that he regrets not making more of an effort to get Yi.

******I leave you with this (a shameless sales pitch for WTC)******
Isn’t it about time to hold these journalists accountable for their wildly inaccurate and borderline offensive articles?!?!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Saving College Football – One Great Match-up at a time

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it this year. I would not complain about the BCS and I would not write about it. However, some of my most loyal followers urged me to write something so here you go.

Here is the playoff breakdown:
* Season is shortened to 11 games
* Ends the weekend after Thanksgiving

1) OSU – Big Ten Champ
2) LSU – SEC Champ
3) Va Tech – ACC Champ
4) OU – Big 12 Champ
5) USC – Pac 10 Champ
West Virginia – Big East Champ
7) Georgia – hottest team in best conference
8) Mizzou – lost twice to the best team in its conference (still deserving)
9) KU – Losing one game in a major conference is still impressive
Hawaii – undefeated, period

(Illinois is out because they have no right to be in a BCS game over Mizzou or KU)

Round 1 – Dec. 1
Hawaii @ (7) Georgia
(9) KU @ (8) Mizzou (How much do you think this ticket will go for!?)

* Top 6 teams get byes

Round 2 – Dec. 8 and 9
Midwest Bracket (Rotate between Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City)
(8) Mizzou v. (1)
Ohio State

South Bracket (Rotate between New Orleans, Houston and San Antonio)
Georgia v. (2) LSU (Amazing game)

East Bracket (Rotate between Atlanta and Miami)
West Virginia v. (3) Va Tech

West Bracket (Rotate between Glendale, Rose Bowl and San Diego)
San Diego would only be used if one of these two sites is hosting the National Championship game
(5) USC v. (4) OU

(I would not leave the bar for the entire weekend. My blood pressure just went up thinking about this possibility)

3 rd Round – Dec. 22 and 23 (the idea here is to give teams time for finals)

East Bracket (Rotate between New Orleans and Miami – whoever did not host in round 2)
* The top ranked get to play where they want to play
(3) Va Tech v. (2) LSU

West Bracket (Rotate between Glendale and Rose Bowl)
(4) OU v. (1) OSU

National Championship on Jan. 1 (I know this sounds crazy) -Rotate between New Orleans, Rose, Glendale and Miami
(2) LSU v. (1) OSU

* Jan. 1 should go back to being a bowl bonanza. At least 6 games before the National Championship at 8 et.
* You can call every game at former BCS bowl the same name because 3 of the 4 locations is guaranteed a huge game every year.
* 10 teams is perfect and I don’t think anyone else in the country deserves a shot at the National Title than the guys listed. (
Florida, Illinois and Arizona State are not worthy)

Next week I will be posting my first ever WTC Bowl Challenge stay tuned

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chronicles of a Road Warrior

As many of you know I live in NY and it is hard for me to get to Warriors games. I spoke to David Stern over the summer and I asked him to make it a little easier to see my favorite team in person. Of course, he obliged me because he owed me after I bought that 24 game ticket package for the 01-02 Warriors season. (that team was TERRIBLE). So when the schedule came out in September and I saw the following –

Nov. 20 Warriors - Knicks
Nov. 21 Warriors – Celtics
Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving
Nov. 23 – Warriors – Wizards
Nov. 24 – Warriors – Sixers

I knew I was not going home for Thanksgiving. As a result of this grand gift, I have decided to chronicle my week with the Warriors.

(This column will be a little different from others as I will be giving bullet point observations as opposed to directionless rants. Enjoy)

Nov. 20 Warriors vs. Knicks @ The Garden

I went to this game with my friend Saraniti – an Italian from Brooklyn who does really like basketball but he jumped on the bandwagon of the Warriors during the playoffs last year. Normally, I am not a big fan of bandwagon jumpers but he hosted a party this summer on the Jersey shore with a Matt Barnes mohawk (when a guy cuts his hair like Matt Barnes voluntarily – I think he is allowed to stay on the bandwagon as long as you want)

(Sorry about the rant)

Pre-game Thoughts

  • Nelly is wearing a fire engine red shirt under his sport coat. He is a beard away from being Santa Claus
  • “Starting at guard Stephan Mar-boooooooooooo”
  • I love New York fans. While the rest of the country thinks they are idiots, I love them. Marbury deserves to be booed along with his (and the Knicks) fearless leader. Sometimes I think NY is the only place where sports fans understand accountability

First Half

  • Q: How bad are the Knicks? A: The Warriors missed their first 7 three point attempts and were still winning the game at that point.
  • Somebody on the Warriors coaching staff needs to tell Bellinelli that squaring your shoulders to the basket makes scoring easier

Second Half

  • This game is over so on to some random thoughts
  • Failing to give Monta Ellis a contract in the offseason is going to cost the Warriors at least 10 wins this season. Because he is playing for a contract he
    • Doesn’t pass the ball because he thinks he is a shooting guard (he is right)
    • Takes terrible shots because he needs to average 20 a game so he can get paid and live up to that “and 1” hype
    • Overplays everything on defense because the more steals he gets the bigger a contract he will be able to command in the offseason
  • Biedrens is not worth $10 million a season
  • Quite a few Warriors fans at The Garden tonight and not one is wearing any of their current apparel.
  • Memo to the Warriors marketing – If beating the Mavs last year doesn’t boost current apparel sales, maybe it is time to change the uniforms!

Post-game Thoughts

  • The Warriors win easily and it is on to Boston where they will be 10 point underdogs after winning consecutive road games. Anyone who thinks there is parity in the NBA is cluless

Nov. 21 Warriors vs. Celtics @ The Boston Garder … errrr … The Fleet Center

Pre-game Thoughts

  • In 2001, the Red Sox actively tried to solicit support for a new Fenway Park and the owner was almost lynched for trying to replace a park where the Red Sox (at the time) had failed to win anything since 1918. The Celtics look to replace the Boston Garden (an arena where they won 2 zillion championships) and nobody cares. Boston is a baseball town and let nobody try to tell you differently.
  • Based on my previous bullet point, it is completely unfair that the Celtics got KG. Sometimes I hate being a Warrior fan.
  • Lets make something clear, I love the Warriors but right when you start getting positive … well you know

First Half

  • I hate to harp on this but Biedrens is not worth 10 million a season. You have all heard the term “grab” a rebound. Well, Biedrens has never actually “grabbed” a rebound. He has tipped many to himself but never actually grabbed one. This is my biggest pet peeve with his game. (GRAB THE BALL AND THROW IT TO BARON SO HE CAN START THE BREAK!!!)
  • Mental Note: Calm Down
  • To my earlier point, Barnes might not be 7 ft tall and I might hate the rest of his “inconsistent, bad shot taking, mediocre defensive” game but he grabs the board and outlets the ball very efficiently.

Second Half

  • Nothing is going to save the Warriors tonight. Add the Celtics to the list of teams (Jazz and Spurs) that the Warriors have ZERO chance of beating
  • Oh great, David Ortiz is at the game. I cannot stand Boston

Post-game Thoughts

  • I have come to three conclusions
    • Ray Allen is the Mike Mussina of Basketball
      • Great player, impressive stats – should NOT be in the HOF
    • Nobody loves the Wright for Richardson trade more than me. This kid is going to be a nice player and Richardson still cannot guard a flag pole
    • Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and KG are the most competitive athletes I have ever watched.
  • Since the Warriors got embarrassed tonight, I feel compelled to leave you (more importantly me) with a motivational message: If Austin Croshere and Scott Pollard can go head to head in the 2nd quarter of an NBA game (significant because in theory both of these teams still have a chance to win this game before half time) then there is NO reason all of us cannot accomplish everything we put our mind to (including getting paid to write about Bay Area sports – spread the word “corner dwellers” aka my readers)

Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving

Pre-game Thoughts

  • I am not eating turkey and I not seeing any of my friends or family

First Half

  • Top 5 best Thanksgivings of all time

Second Half

  • I have issues

Post-game Thoughts

  • I should have had turkey

Nov. 23 – Warriors vs. Wizards @ The (fill in the blank wireless company) Center

Pre-game Thoughts

  • So I took the train down to Washington today and it was great. Growing up in California, you never understand the concept of taking trains everywhere but the Northeast is a lot like Europe in that sense. I love it
  • It half price ticket night and I paid $24 to sit in the 4th row from the top. Needless to say, the Wizards fans are getting ripped off.
  • The spread on this game is 1.5 so there is a decent chance that we see a good game. (If the Warriors get beat by 20 tonight, they are not going to the playoffs – end of story)
  • Wolf Blitzer (the guy that looks like the dad from Teenwolf on CNN) gives us the pregame “situation” for the game and says “Gilbert should prove to the Warriors that he is an elite player in the league tonight” aaaahhhhh, he had knee surgery two days ago and he is out for three months. I hope the Wizards PR guy got fired for that one.
  • So I am sitting watching warm-ups and I cannot help but think the Warriors should smoke this team. The Wizards starting line-up is as follows:

PG – Antonio Daniels: (hardly a starting guard in the NBA)
SG – DeShawn Stevenson: According to the Washington Post, he is starting his 181st consecutive game tonight. And people wonder why the Wizards are an 8th seed at best
SF – Caron Butler: I love Caron Butler (more to follow on this guy)
PF – Antawn Jaimson: When he came on the floor, I almost yelled “STOP SHOOTING THREES” (natural reaction of any 01-02 Warriors season ticket holder)
C – Brandon Haywood: How is this guy not in the NBDL? Shouldn’t he be the 6th man in Fort Wayne by now.

(I am still not quite sure if Eddie Jordan is the worst coach in the league or the best coach in the league)

First Half

  • So the Wizards slogan this year is “Ready to Rule – Are you ready?” They have got to be kidding. I know Brandon Haywood isn’t and Antawn Jaimson is the least influential 20 and 10 guy since Derek Coleman played for the Nets (By the way, I would go off on Jaimson but he is too good a guy and I think comparing him to Derrick Coleman is enough of a shot)
  • I have my notebook set up to count how many 3 pointers we are going to miss to start the game. Let’s see what happens
  • What do you know we start out on fire and we are down 10 at one point in the 1st quarter. I hate the NBA sometimes. I spend so much time telling people how fun it is too watch and then this game happens
  • There is always something cool about each stadiums presentation of the game (well, except for Nets games at Continental Airlines Arena – they do a heck of a job representing that state). Anyways, when the refs make a questionable call against the Wizards the jumbotron shows pictures of the Michael Irvin, Jerry Jones, Emmit Smith and the Cowboys so the crowd will boo. Maybe other teams should do this. Like the Celtics could show pictures of Jeter or the Knicks could show pictures of Isiah (that makes too much sense)

Second Half

  • So we reach halftime and the Warriors have made almost everything from behind the arc and they are DOWN 1. If you are leading the league in 3 point attempts and you are shooting better than 60% from behind the arc (unofficial) you should be winning by a lot. (this is kind of like LT running for 150 yards in the first half and the Chargers are losing at halftime – nevermind)
  • Quick third quarter thought – Blatche is 4 times better than Haywood and yet he sits on the bench. Why? Eddie Jordan has to have money on this game (by the way, the Wizards have won 6 in a row and they are in danger of letting Agent Zero walk – I wonder if this is in the back of Jordan’s mind … interesting)
  • Wait a second, my eyes must be deciving me, the Warriors are playing defense!
  • Can somebody please tell Azibuke that the basket is connected to a backboard and he is allowed to use it.
  • Please disregard the last comment as Nelly told him at the last timeout and he just made an easy layup as opposed to looking like a fool again against Blatche.
  • The Lativian contingent in the upper deck go bananas as Biederns makes a layup to seal it.

Post-game Thoughts

  • Baron Davis is one of the elite players in this league and it is a tragedy that the Warriors did not get KG in the off-season
  • The worst part of the Kwame Brown trade for the Lakers was not getting Kwame Brown but giving up Caron Butler. How is it possible that Mitch can trade Shaq and Caron Butler and have Odam (the Gary Sheffield of the NBA) and Kwame Brown to show for it!? Butler is really really good
  • If the Warriors played defense like they did in the 4th tonight, they are the 6th seed in the west. (Who doesn’t want to see Suns-Warriors in the first round?)
  • On to Philly

Nov. 24 – Warriors vs. Sixers @ The former Spectrum

Pre-game Thoughts

  • There were more people at my high school baseball games than are at this game
  • I think teams should be allowed to have “bad comedy club night” when there is no hope to draw more than 2,000 people to a game. Here is how it would work:
  • Admissions is free
  • However, there is a two drink minimum. You buy your two drink coupons at the box office and go to the game.
  • The coupons can be used for any beverage or a regular hot dog.
  • I will be the first one to admit that this is a TERRIBLE idea for the following cities:
    • Detroit
    • Philadelphia
    • Oakland
  • Enough of my too good of any idea for anyone to actually use it commentary and on to the game
  • The chance of the Warriors “laying an egg” tonight is 150%.
  • Why do I think this? Because I never thought I would go to 3 Warriors games in a week and say to myself – “We should win this game” before each one. We are bound to lose.

First Half

  • And I thought we didn’t play any defense in the first half last night. Dalembart may block every shot we take within 4 ft of the rim.
  • Who is Lou Williams and what year did we not take him in the draft? This kid can shoot
  • I may not have mentioned this before so I will do it now – How did we not lock up Monte Ellis at the start of the season!? He may not play a lot of defense and his passing is awful at best but the guy can ALWAYS get an open look with his quickness and he is lights out tonight.
  • However, no one on the Warriors is playing any defense so we are down 12 at the half.

Second Half

  • The only reason we are getting back in this game is because Maurice Cheeks (the Sixers coach) is not letting Lou Williams go for 40.
  • (David Stern’s NBA Rule #1: If you have a guy that looks like he is going for 40, let him go for 50 because I pay the refs to let this type of game happen)
  • The 4th Quarter begins and the Warriors start playing defense.
  • Since they dug themselves a 12 point first half hole they might not be able to pull this one off.
  • When are NBA teams going to learn, you can’t win a game in the first half but you can definetly lose one
  • I hate every 2-3 combo guard from Arizona. All of them think they can shoot but they just can’t – Jefferson, Igudola, Walton etc.

Overtime Thoughts

  • Make a note: On this day Nov. 24th in the year of our lord 2007, I have become optimistic while at a sporting event. We are going to win this game.
  • Nevermind, Sixers up one with 20 seconds left.
  • You knew it was going to be a Kentucky Wildcat (article coming next week on the best NCAA basketball rivalry IU and Kentucky) that wins the game for the Warriors.
  • I will admit that only 99% of me hates Azubukie after that shot.

After-game Thoughts

  • The Suns are going to KILL the Warriors on Monday if they play defense like they have over the last two games.
  • If the Warriors can play defense for 48 minutes, only three teams in this league can beat them (reminder: Spurs, Jazz and Celtics)
  • Conclusion: The Warriors are really really good when they play defense

Overall Road Trip Thoughts

  • NBA road trips are a good idea when your team is good and only when your team is good.
  • College Football road trips are 2000% more fun.
  • Stephen Jackson is the glue (now that is scary)


Monday, November 19, 2007

The Dawn of the Same Era

A new beginning

Major League Baseball free agents can officially start entertaining and accepting offers this week. With the single most incompetent player development group in all of baseball, the Giants have no choice to build a team through free agency, meaning that this week is bigger than any other week. Obviously, this strategy has really paid off for them in recent years. In addition, you need look no farther than the 2007 Red Sox to understand how pointless it is to try to rely on the draft to win championships. Think if the Red Sox had had Roberts, Durham, Molina and Benitiez instead of Ellsbury, Pedroia, Veritek and Papelbon!! You know they would have swept the Indians! (Ok, maybe not). In all seriousness, free agency did play a big part in the Red Sox success so I feel like it is still important to write about it even though the Giants are doomed to lose until they produce one good position player from within the organization.

So with all the positive thinking I can muster (which isn’t much), I give you:

“What would RT do if he ran the Giants this off season?”

1) Fire Dick Tedrow
Who is that you ask? Well, he has been running the Player Development department for the Giants since they moved from Mesopatamia to Cairo during the Ice Age. Whatever happened to accountability!? The last consistent all-star position player the Giants drafted was Matt Williams. News Flash: THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO!

(Mental Note #1: Calm Down)

(Mental Note #2: Screw Mental Note #1 we need to start winning before I stop using we when referring to the Giants)

2) Don’t Sign Any of the Available Centerfielders

Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowan, Mike Cameron and Torii Hunter are all nice players who should be making 7 to 10 million a year because they cannot hit. Rajai Davis deserves his shot to play center and he comes much cheaper and may turn out to be a pretty decent fielder. Young players cannot get any better unless they get a chance to play.

(Also, save me the Aaron Rowan hit 300 last year BS. My little brother hit .025 in tee ball with 20 strike outs and I know he could hit 200 with 10 bombs in that wind tunnel of a ball park)

3) Make a Big Trade (its better for business)

Last year, the Giants went for that big draw guy (Zito). Has anyone ever heard this conversation:

Giants Fan #1: “Do you want to go to the Giants game tonight?”
Giants Fan #2: “I don’t know, who's pitching?”
Giants Fan #1: “ZITO!”
Giants Fan #2: “Yes, we have to go to the game. I would pay double to see him pitch over anybody else”

I have never heard this conversation either

Anyone who thinks that baseball is run like a business all the time is dead wrong. The Zito signing might be the worst business decision any team has ever made. There is no reason to overpay for a guy that doesn’t sell tickets or significantly increase your teams chances of winning. (Sport Marketing 101: Winning is the best way to increase ticket sales)

As for a trade, there are multiple trades out there that make sense but I like the Miguel Cabrera trade the best. I love the critics on this guy. “Fat, doesn’t work hard, mediocre fielder, lazy …” Sure sounds a lot like the guy who plays left field for the Red Sox.

Try this on for size:

Giants get: Cabrera

Marlins get: Jonathan Sanchez, Fred Lewis, Noah Lowry, (fill in the blank prospect) and 5 million cash.

Reasons the Marlins should make the trade:

They get:
(1) A MLB proven pitcher (Lowry)
(2) Two B+ prospects (Lewis and Sanchez)
(3) One B rated prospect
(4) Cash
(5) Younger and potentially can make a run at the NL East in the near future with a discount payroll

Reason the Giants should make the trade:
(1) Cabrera is 24 and that makes him younger than any of the available free agents that are worth anything
(2) He comes cheap (given his talents) at ~10 million for the next two years
(3) He is as talented a young player as exists in the game today and comparing him to Manny Ramirez is not unfair because he is that good
(4) Unlike Zito, he gives people a reason to come to the game (not to mention buy a t-shirt)
(5) (Last but not least) The Giants can make this trade without giving up the untouchables: Cain and Lincecum

4) Play the Young Guys

With the exception of Molina and Vizquel (who are integral to keeping the young pitchers from hanging themselves), there is no point to playing older players. Lewis, Fransen, Davis, Ortmeier and Shierhotlz deserve their day in the sun (or fog). All these guys have shown varying degrees of potential and it is time to throw them against the wall and see which ones stick.

Here is the lineup
1) Rajai Davis - CF
2) Nate Shierholtz - RF
3) Miguel Cabrera – 3B

4) Fred Lewis – LF
5) Dan Ortmeier – 1B
6) Bengie Molina – C
7) Kevin Fransen – 2B
8) Omar Vizquel – SS
9) Matt Cain – P

This team will struggle at times but they will fight to the end and will not quit. They will also play some amazing defense that can only help the confidence of Cain and Lincecum. The Giants are going to finish last in the west next year no matter what they do so they might as well try to make some progress.

In Tedrow We Trust


Monday, July 9, 2007

Remember when you first started watching baseball and someone with superior knowledge of the game told you – “Pitching and defense wins championships”. What that person failed to tell you was that the team with the most runs at the end of nine innings wins the game. This brings us to the sad state of affairs which is the 2007 San Francisco Giants. When Bud Selig awarded the All-Star game to the Giants for this year, his thought process was the following:

1) The Giants will be in their first year without Barry Bonds so they will need something to market to potential and current season ticket holders.

The commissioner gave the Giants the game so they would not have to have to keep Barry. Now, I understand why they resigned him but over paying him by $11 mm is contradictory to the entire plan of making money (not to mention insulting to the numerous employees with graduate degrees that are making $30,000 a year). Everyone knows he wasn’t going anywhere and the idea that he would have turned down a $5 mm one year contract is absurd. The Home Run record is worth far more to him than $11 mm.

2) The Giants will most likely be fielding a very young team that will be struggling to win games so they will need some national attention that they would otherwise not receive in 2007.

Exchange old with young and add positive in between some and national and then you have an accurate statement. How are the following players on this team – Ray Durham, Pedro Feliz, Randy Winn, Ryan Klesko, Rich Aurillia and Steve Kline? (I excluded Bengie Molina and Dave Roberts from this list for the following reasons - the Giants ERA is only what it is because of Bengie Molina who has continued to impress as a mentor to the young pitchers (think John Lackey) and every young potential base stealer should be forced to learn how to read pitchers the way Dave Roberts does). Imagine if the Giants were starting the following lineup: C: Bengie Molina 1B: Pick a Prospect 2B: Kevin Frandsen SS: Omar Vizquel (still the best fielder I have ever seen) 3B: Tomas De La Rosa (I know what you are thinking – “WHO?”) RF: Nick Schierholtz or Dan Ortmeier CF: Fred Lewis LF: Barry Bonds. This team may not win 60 games but they would play with more heart than any Giant team has played with in recent years.

3) The Giants will be unable to acquire big name players through free agency because of the loans they still need to payoff for building their stadium with mostly private financing.

Again, the commissioner was dead on with this assumption. However (and to their credit) the Giants have bucked this popular belief and have been more than active on the free agent market. Unfortunetly, they have failed to use the money with any kind of success. Through the late 90s and into the first couple of years at Pac Bell Park, Brian Sabean was as good as anybody at making trades and spending money on free agents that produced results on the field. Jeff Kent, Rob Nen, Livan Hernandez (a better player than people will ever gave him credit for) Kenny Lofton and David Bell all developed into solid contributors during their tenures with the Giants. The failure to sign Guerrero and Tejada (an even bigger mistake than missing out on Guerrero) was the beginning of what will hopefully prove to be the end of the Brian Sabean era. The list of failed acquisitions is long so I will just name a few that particularly aggravate me - Edgardo Alfonso, Ray Durham (the second contract), Rich Aurilia (the second go around), Armando Benitez, Shea Hillenbrand and (the result of the most infamous trade in Giants history) AJ Pyeznski.

I have to admit that I commend the commissioner on using sound judgment when deciding to put the All-Star game in San Francisco. Unfortunetly, the Giants failed to see the “writing on the wall” and decided to mortgage the future to finish 4th instead of 5th in the west (However, I think that 5th is very much a possibility). There are only three teams in baseball that don’t (in theory) have to rebuild: the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers. Everyone can agree that rebuilding does not guarantee success but at least it has proven to work. Fielding a team of past their prime players has never worked and I doubt it ever will. The question has to be asked – “why delay the inevitable?”

Here is what needs to happen to right the ship –

1) Fire Brian Sabean

Like every company in the world, sometimes a change in management / philosophy is needed to steer the organization in the right direction. Firing Sabean would prove to the fans and the rest of the front office that there is some accountability left in the organization. The Barry Bonds era has made everyone a little too comfortable in Giants land and there is no better example of this than Brian Sabean As long as Sabean is the GM, the Giants will never be able to turn things around. It is time to usher in a new era of Giants baseball.

2) Hire Kim Ng from the Dodgers

Unlike Sabean, Ng will come in feeling like she has something to prove. There will be renewed sense of urgency in the baseball operations department that has not been around since 1997. In addition, Ng is widely regarded as one of the best contract negotiators in the game and, based on some of the ridiculous free agent spending we have seen over the last 4 years, I think it makes sense to bring someone in with some business sense. Also, she was part of the player development office that drafted and developed such players as Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Alfonso Soriano and Mariano Rivera. The argument most legitimate argument against her hiring would be the lack of success the Dodgers have had over the last 5 years. While they have been bad, she has worked under three different GMs in 6 years. Each one has wanted to make their mark on the organization right away and each has failed miserably. I don’t think you can blame her for these failures. The Giants would be the perfect organization to hire the GM that the Dodgers have failed to identify for the past 6 years. Ng would definitely represent a change in philosophy for the Giants and I believe she is the right person to bring life back to a franchise that has hit the skids. (Not to mention, you would be stealing the most valuable asset in the Dodgers organization)

3) Play the young guys!

Wouldn’t it be funny if the Giants treated starting pitching the way they treat position players!? The 2007 rotation would be Barry Zito, Matt Morris, Jamie Wright, Russ Ortiz and Chan Ho Park. The dynasty franchises have always played their young home grown talent and it is time for the Giants to start adopting this method of development.

4) Acquire the next franchise player

I am not talking about Carlos Lee, Alfonso Soriano or Michael Young (all very good players but not cornerstones of a franchise). I am talking about Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera or Miguel Tejada. These are just 3 of the numerous cornerstone players that are available for the right price. The Giants are going to need an identity as they move into the post-Bonds era and that identity needs to be discovered sooner rather than later. If nothing else, I don’t think it would be possible to make a trade that would be viewed as worse than the Pyerzinski trade.

Obviously, these four changes will not automatically lead to a World Series championship but they will get the organization headed in the right direction.

Hopefully, my “state of the Giants” article for next year will be a little more optimistic than this year. It better be because there will be no All-Star game to save the Giants next year.