Friday, February 27, 2009

Wire Check - 2/27/09


Gwenn Knapp rehashes the Tanya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan fiasco.


Scott Ostler says Basketball can learn from Soccer.

Marcus Thompson checks in from Warriors practice last night.

Janny Hu observations, including Nellie saying he's going to play more youngsters.

Adam Lauridsen breaks down the minutes the youngsters have played by month and they've decreased!

Bruce Jenkins gives his thoughts for teams interested in signing Stephon Marbury.


Baggs hasRandy Johnson's kindergartenclass picture. Also, heasks Larry Baerif the team regrets signing Affedlt and Renteria before the free agent market dropped.

Schulman has a note on ManRam. In case you didn't hear,
Manny rejected the Dodgers' latest offer.

McCovery Chroniclesprojects LinCYcum's stats this year.

For Nomar, it's the A's or retire.

SusanSlusser has pregame notes, including Daric Barton will make his spring debut.
Mark Purdy says Barry Bonds has the best BFF, ever.


Matt Barrows looks at the 49ers likely targets in free agency.

Matt Maiocco is keeping a running diary of all the happenings today, the first full day of free agency.

GM Scot McCloughan says the 49ers are going low key this year.

Niners Nation looks at the rumored interests of the 49ers, DE Chris Canty and WR Branond Jones.

Jason Jones has some tips for the Raiders this offseason.

Along the same lines, Jerry Mac says restraint is a good thing.

Kawakami reads into what the Raiders and 49ers free agency attitude means for next year.

Lowell Cohn says the 49ers QBs aren't good enough.

NFP reports that Tampa Bay has traded for TE Kellen Winslow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Debate: Should the Warriors Throw in the Towel (RT says No)

Warriors need to be winners

The Warriors are 8 weeks away from ending this lost season. This is the point of the season where franchises decide to play hard for the rest of the season or mail it in and hope to win the lottery? Allow me to give you some exclusive insider information – Hope is not a strategy in investing and it is definitely not a strategy when trying to build a NBA championship caliber team. Furthermore, the NBA draft is chocked full of overrated players the potential super stars will likely be drafted in picks 9 – 15. The Warriors are stuck with this current group of misfits for the foreseeable future so they might as well learn how to play together. If the Warriors are to ever return to the playoffs, they need to start learning the concept of we are out to win every night. At the minimum, the team is young enough that they don’t quite understand that they are supposed to lose when they play for the Warriors and become all-stars when they leave.

There are three basic themes that I need to impress upon Koski and the rest of the lemmings out there who still believe the Warriors may actually win a championship some day.

Don’t play the young players just to play them

There is nothing I hate more than this concept. Putting a young player out there who can’t guard anyone ruins the player’s confidence and creates animosity between the veteran and inexperienced players. My hatred of Corey Maggette not withstanding, he has been a solid player off the bench and he does play hard in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Why sit Maggette on the bench while we watch Anthony Morrow continue to prove he cannot guard a flagpole – let alone an NBA small forward? It’s ridiculous. Maggette is going to be part of this team for the next 5 years (mental groin punch) so he may as well develop some chemistry with his teammates.

(The exception to this concpet is Jamal Crawford. He has no right being anywhere near the floor because he will never be part of a winning culture. NEVER!)

Winning = Winning

I know, I know. I am crazy. Franchises that are ok with letting their teams lose to get a higher draft pick often continue their losing ways for years. The Warriors have a very solid young nucleus that has no idea how to win right now. The only real mentor on the roster is Stephen Jackson who (if nothing else) leaves it all out on the court each time he plays. Cutting Cap’n Jack’s minutes or surrounding him with players that he knows are not good enough to win that night could be disastrous. (Think Ghostbusters crossing the streams bad) Similar to closing out quarters on a high note, ending the season on a high note is very important. The young players need to believe that they can make the playoffs next year and a string of bad losses like the one against the Clippers on Tuesday does nothing positive for anybody (fans, players, front office and Nellie).

The 2009 NBA Draft is not top heavy

If there was ever a draft where a great player is going to be drafted late in the lottery, it is this year. Let’s take a quick look at the potential top 5:

1) Blake Griffin: Kevin Love II – solid NBA player with no all-star upside

2) Hasheem Thabeet: a homeless man’s Dikembe Mutombo and that is being nice

3) James Harden: Paul Pierce without the defensive intensity. (This guy has ZERO quickness)

4) Brandon Jennings: Averaging less than two assists in Europe as a point guard. Did I mention he can’t shoot?

5) Jordan Hill: U of A is a bubble team this year and Chase Budinger is on the team with Hill. Sounds like the kind of winner the Warriors need.

Needless to say having more ping pong balls looks more detrimental than productive to me.

The bottom line is the Warriors have been surrounded by losing for as long as I have been alive and changing that trend requires taking one small step at a time. Playing the last 8 weeks like they are trying to make the playoffs can only help the Warriors in the long run.

Debate: Should the Warriors Throw in the Towel (Koski says Yes)

Life’s a Bitch

Disaster strikes on the eve of free agency in June, 2008. A single decision launches a series of unfortunate events that leave Warriors fans wondering which level of Hell they’ve been roaming in for the last 15 seasons. Baron opts out of his contract on the eve of free agency after Robert Rowell rejects the extension that Mullin negotiated with Davis. Rowell panics and tries to throw money at Gilbert Arenas, of all people, and Elton Brand. Without Davis’ $17 million on the books, the Warriors decide to overspend for Corey Maggette, five years $50 million. Stephen Jackson realizes it’s the perfect time for him to butter up Rowell for an unnecessary extension and gets three years tacked onto his once tradable contract. Now the Warriors have Maggette and Jackson for the next five years. Well, the next four years because they will most likely trade the expiring contracts in the last year of their respective deals. To top it all off, the Warriors trade a disgruntled Harrington, who has an attractive contract, for Jamal Crawford, a player with three more seasons left on his deal. A lot of teams would have been interested in Stephen Jackson and his contract before the extension. Here are some of the possible trade scenarios for Jackson:

* Jackson to Cleveland for Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring deal

* Jackson, Harrington and Belinelli to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire.

* Jackson, Harrington and Player X to Miami for Sean Marion

Instead, the Warriors have returned to square one: A team with no payroll flexibility and a coach who has a horrible track record at developing young players.

Send in the tanks

Warriors fans love their team. They are recognized nationally for their passion and basketball IQ. The dubious actions of the team’s management should not be rewarded and that’s what would happen if the Warriors closed out the season with a hot streak. Management could write off the early season performance as due to injuries and that the second half of the season proved that the Warriors could compete for a playoff spot. The Warriors future is Anthony Randolph, Monta Ellis and Brandan Wright and Andris Biedrins, if he’s not traded. Unfortunately, Don Nelson is trying to win every game, he’s only 30 some games short of becoming the winningest NBA coach ever, so Randolph, Wright (when healthy), Belinelli, et al. aren’t playing the minutes needed to develop. It is time to raise the white flag and focus on player development. As a Warriors fan, who do you want to see on the court? Anthony Randolph or Corey Maggette? Jamal Crawford or Marco Belinelli? When was the last time the Warriors were mentioned as a possible championship team? Making the playoffs is great, especially after you’ve been on the outside for 13 seasons, but making the playoffs is a moral victory. I want a real victory. I want to hang a championship banner in the Oracle. This season is over. Next season? Over. The season after that? Over. It’s time to see if Anthony Randolph lives up to the hype and play him 30+ minutes a night, no matter what it does to the W-L record. Can he be the keystone for a championship caliber team? There is only one way to find out, play the man.

Here is my starting five for the rest of the season:

Point Guard: Monta (Belinelli if Monta is out)

Shooting Guard: The Wizard of Azubuike

Small Forward: Stack Jack

Power Forward: Randolph

Center: Biedrins

Will they get demolished by bigger teams? Does that even matter? Maggette is already coming off the bench as he should. Crawford should also come off the bench.

Hopefully, his playing time being cut will encourage him to opt out of his contract this summer. Who doesn’t like that!? Stephen Jackson needs to play less minutes. He got his extension, so let’s make sure he’s healthy enough to make it through the life of the contract. The Warriors don’t need Jackson to play 42 minutes every night just so they might win 29 games instead of 24 games.

Bottom Line

The Warriors have done a lot of things wrong to get to this point. There is no easy solution to right the ship and now is the time to do things the right way. The problem is that it means being patient and enduring a lot of losing basketball. Warriors fans have endured plenty of losing over the years, can’t ownership at least make it worth our while?

Wire Check - February 26, 2009


- The Oakland A's might be good? Please

- Who needs Manny when you have Ishikawa?. The Giants

- A's are not going to Fremont. Sacramento here they come.


- If you can't beat the Red Wings, you are not going to win the Stanley Cup. Thank god for baseball season


- If you care about rich kids not going to mediocre basketball games, this is the article for you.

- Jamal Crawford may not play as much this Friday. In other news, the day hope reenters the franchise will be Friday 2/27/09.


- It's about time the Niners realized they need another over-the-hill wide receiver.

- ESPN tells us - when your team is not very good, resigning your free agents is not a priority. I am not really convinced but I am listening.

- Is anything Al Davis does actually news worthy? I say no. If you disagree, please read this nothing short of pointless article.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wire Check - February 23, 2009


Kawkami wonders if the fans will continue to flock to the Oracle.

In case you haven't heard, Monta Ellis is sitting out the next 1-2 weeks to rest his ankle.

Steinmetz thinks Ellis came back too early and should rest up for next year.

Adam Lauridsen takes a look at the future if Ellis doesn't return to his pre-moped self.

Ratto debates Don Nelson's hall of fame chances.


Matt Barrows checks in with some 40 times from the combine for OLBs and DLs.

Matt Maiocco was stuck in Chicago last nigtht so he emptied his notebook.

Kevin Lynch's observations of the Combine from Sunday.

Mike Sando gets 49ers first round prediction from Rob Rang, but if you've read Barrows and Maiocco lately you'd see the holes in his logic.

Niners Nation looks at the possible big backs in the draft that could be the thunder missing from Gore's lightning.


Javon Walker's contract could be dead man walking soon.

Jerry Mac wonders, "Who's next?"

Andre Smith or Michael Crabtree with the first pick?


Bruce Jenkins thinks the AL West is a two team race and it's closer than you thought.

Susan Slusser has some Garciaparra rumors.


Baggs has an amateur scouting report on the guys vieing to start at 3rd next season. Also, the Giants are expecting good things from thier $9 mil man.

McCovey Chronicles ponders recently released Andy Marte.

A lot going on this spring for Jonathan Sanchez.


Mike Florio from goes over the Matt Cassel trade market.

Cal's women's basketball rebounding mark is no more.

Ann Killion, "Answering letters on bikes, bongs."

Scott Ostler says Bay Area teams could use other teams' problem players.

Nancy Gay profiles a Spartan at the combine.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wire Check - February 20, 2009


Ray Ratto says it's deja vu all over again for the Warriors.

Chat live with CJ Watson and MTII at 1:45pm today.

Matt Steinmentz says the StackJack extension was the wrench that did in the Warriors' trade options this year.

Janny Hu also details the non-moves at the deadlie for the Warriors.

From yesterday, but Kawakami has a crazy plan to bring Baron Davis back for cheap.


Nancy Gay notes, like may others, that Asomugha is now the highest paid player in the NFL.

Jason Jones has the details of the deal.

Jerry Mac covers the Asomugha deal, Lechler and other Raiders tidbits.

It's not all good news for the Raiders.

Kawakami's take on the two big signings.

Lowell Cohn feels sorry for Asomugha for some reason.

Gary Peterson likes the investments.


Matt Maiocco is still in Indianapolis, but he checks in with 49ers related news.

Mike Sando of ESPN asking McCloughan who will be the Free Safety next year.

Mike Singletary will be on NFL Network at 410pm today.

Kevin Lynch says signing Michael Vick would not be worth the hassle.


Giambi is back to his old self and the battle for 5th starter is on.

Joe Stiglich also comments on the 5th starter battle, but also mentions a new player in the Orlando Cabrera sweepstakes.

Fremont's city council doesn't want to hear from the public after all.


Schulman details the competition for opening day second baseman.

Ishikawa is first in line for first base, note Baggs.


David Pollack says Marleau can score, on any line.

Sharks-Kings recap.


MJD at Shutdown Corner thinks "Franchise Tag" needs a new name.

Mark Purdy goes old school, recapping the 1969 San Jose State upset of No. 2 Santa Clara.

Gwen Knapp is waiting for Barkley's return as a hero.

Evidence tossed in Bonds' case.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wire Check - February 19, 2009

High praise from Lakers' players about Mont and Anthony Randolph. In fact, Cam Inman details Lamar Odom saying Randolph has hall of fame potential.

After a good game, but a tough loss, MTII wonders why Stephen Jackson played 45 minutes when Kobe played only 36.

Lowell Cohn says it was a typical Warriors' loss.

Adam Lauridsen says the Warriors have nothing to lose, except the games.

Kawakami says it ain't over for Alex Smith, yet. TK is also an ardent Randolph supporter.

Gwen Knapp takes a closer look at an Alex on each coast.

Bruce Jenkins wonders why the MLB season needs to start so late. He also empties his steroid notebook.

Baggs details Bocock's blood flow issue that was resolved with Viagra. Also, pictures of Edgar Renteria in a Giants uniform.

McCovey Chronicles breaks down the spring training battles in the bullpen.

A possible free agent target for the 49ers has been tagged.

Matt Maiocco is braving the Indianapolis weather to cover the scouting combine so you don't have to.

The Raiders made Shane Lechler the highest paid punter in history. What's next?

Now that Lechler has signed, could Tom Condon's other Raiders client be next?

Everybody is talking about Lechler.

A's reliever Brad Ziegler will pitch for the USA in the WBC.

The Giambino has arrived at Spring Training.

The Sharks won't open the season in Europe next year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wire Check - February 18, 2009

Ray Ratto gets the message,">Shaun Hill be the quarterback next year, unless he's not.

The Media keeps looking for a team for Michael Vick, even though he's still under contract with the Falcons and he's still in jail. When Singletary said, "I'm not going to say I'm open or closed" regarding signing Vick, the national media immediately spun it to mean the 49ers were interested. In fact, ESPN even ran it on the bottom line, even though">Matt Maiocco and">Matt Barrows report that team officials have denied anuy possible interest in Vick.

Some actual news, the Niners will be wearing"> familiar uniforms very soon and on a permanent basis.

Gwen Knapp says">Singletary stole the show at the 49ers stat of the franchise.

Scott Ostler responds to A-Rods press conference with">his own Q&A.

Cam Inman checks in with">his take on the A-Rod presser.

Bruce Jenkins talks about A-Rod and offers this in his 3-Dot section regarding watching sports in Hi Def,">"I don't ever want to reach the point where I can't enjoy a sporting event if it isn't in HD." That's the type of excuse I use for not doing heroin, not watching sports.

Feening for some cycling articles?">Ann Killion has your back.

Nancy Gay runs down the list of">Bay Area players taking part at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

MTII">updates us from Warriors practice last night.">Janny Hu's take.

Adam Lauridsen breaks down fans into three categories regarding the trading deadline:">The Believers, The Skeptics and The Cynics.

Kawakami looks at the">economic pinch figuring to set in on the NBA and the ramifications on the Warriors.

Baggs says the Giants are still">kicking the tires on Joe Crede, but are prepping Sandoval to play third base. Zito and Brian Wilson are BFFs and a Posey-Lincecum batrtery is the only Golden Spikes combo he can think of.

The Giants want">Matt Cain to lose the resemblance to">Bobby Hill.

Jason Jones breaks down">Chris Johnson's new deal with the Silver and Black.">More of the same from Jerry Mac.

Only because A's fans really want to know,">Rajai Davis' offseason.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wire Check - February 17, 2009

* In breaking news, Barry Zito's struggles are due to the fact that umpires are no longer calling his curve ball for a strike. And here I was thinking it was his lack of confidence, loss of velocity and inability to locate his pitches ... I feel better now.

* I never thought anyone would ever celebrate Comcast but Bruce Jenkin's has opened my eyes. 158 Giants games will be televised this year so you can watch the run to third place in the worst division in baseball from the comfort of your own home.

* You have to love the Yankees P.R. machine. They have decided to show their support for A-Rod by forcing the team to go to his press conference. I cannot wait to watch this circus.

* The title of this article is "Cain eager to listen to Johnson's advice". No seriously ... a company pays this guy to write this hard hitting news.

* Bobby Crosby is content to watch a once promising career go down the tubes by working out with an "alleged" steroid user and not fixing one of the longest swings in baseball.

* Warning Soccer News: I really hope David Beckham is forced to play in MLS next year. He comes here thinking he will change the world of soccer in America and quickly realizes that the only high pitched athlete we have ever respected was a guy who knocked out Michael Spinks. Beckham should be forced to play in front of 10,000 fans in Kansas City for taking our money and leaving once he realized we could care less about him.

* Talk to you tomorrow

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wire Check - Feb. 16, 2009

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Bruce Jenkins loved the fun that Shaq brought to the All Star game, plus he breaks down the playoff teams in the west and touches on A-Rod.

Ratto says Al Davis is giving the finger to the 49ers.

Kawakami has reason for Warriors optimism (not a typo).

Baggarly checks out the Big Unit and likes what he sees.

It’s a little late, but the Raiders re-signed Chris Johnson.

Matt Barrows breaks down the 49ers options at Free Safety.

Matt Maiocco thinks new president Jed York will want to make his mark immediately.

National Football Post has a new mock draft with the 49ers selecting a tackle and the Raiders a WR.

Adam Schefter says Fragile Fred has been cut.

Schulman says Lincecum has pop and Susan Slusser says Gio Gonzalez has put on some weight.

Randy Johnson will be the oldest Giant in 100 years and Molina mentors Posey.

Marc Stein has some NBA trade buzz, but nothing involving the Warriors.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Debate: Will the Lakers win the NBA Championsip this year?

I love LA!?

I am a die-hard Warriors fan and I think the Lakers are going to win the NBA championship. It has taken hours of therapy to get to this point but I am finally secure enough to say it. (I guess I was secure enough to say it at the start of season when I predicted it). There are three primary reasons I like the Lakers to win the NBA championship and none of them have to do with their recent undefeated road trip.

Reason #1: Chemistry

In this age of “we need immediate returns”, many analysts and experts have forgotten that basketball is still a team game. David Stern has done his best to make it about individuals, but the fact of the matter is individuals win MVPs and teams win championships. When the Lakers acquired Gasol in the middle of the season last year, everyone (including me) thought that Lakers team was destined to hold the trophy in June. They almost did, but an amazing comeback by the Celtics in game 4 took the wind out of their sails and – at least in my opinion – they did not know how to react to the adversity as a team.
(Don’t give me the Lakers won game 5 BS. The Celtics mailed that because a) Stern told them too and B) they knew the Lakers had ZERO chance of taking two from them in Boston)

The circumstances are different this time around. Gasol and the gang have now been together for a full year which has given them the time to gel. As anyone who has played basketball knows, if you cannot rely on your teammates to help on defense or knockdown an open shot, you have no chance of winning. The trust is there for the Lakers and the results will speak for themselves.

Reason #2: Defense

To keep it simple, the Lakers are a very good defensive team. Even without Bynum, they present tough matchups all over the court for most teams. Over the last couple of years, Kobe has turned into more of a defensive stopper than most predicted. The Lakers are one of the few teams that have the benefit of having two seven-footers (Gasol and Odom) down low and an athletic wingman (Ariza) that can cover almost any perimeter player in the league. (Not to mention, Ariza faces the best offensive player in the league every day in practice). Fisher and Farmar are adequate defensive point guards but are aided in the fact that they know the rim is sufficiently guarded by the big men so they can crowd guards beyond the arc. As long as Josh Powell can be relied on for 15 minutes of bend – don’t break – defense in the playoffs, the Lakers will be a tough team to score on when the pressure is at its highest.

Reason #3: “MVP! MVP!”

Kobe Bryant has been the best player in the NBA for a number of years now. While he has been surrounded by varying degrees of talent, there has been little doubt about his ability to score. However, he has been – in my mind – fairly criticized for not being the leader that many of the NBA greats that preceded him were. Furthermore, it even seemed like he was ok with losing badly as long as everyone thought he was not to blame. To keep it simple, he was (is) one of the best scorers this game has ever seen that was selfish and immature.

I am saying right now … those days are over.

Through the combination of an embarrassing loss in game 6, a gold medal Olympic games and a 30th birthday, I believe Kobe has finally come to grips with the fact that he needs to be that leader many thought he would become. He also understands that he is surrounded by the most talent he has played with on the Lakers since Shaq left and he still has one of the best coaches in NBA history on the bench. The time for Kobe to release himself from the stigma of “never will win a championship without Shaq” has finally arrived.

(Wait … what am I saying?! I hate Kobe Bryant! He is a selfish prick that allowed his team to lose to the Warriors by 50 a couple years ago. He will never win a championship without Shaq. The day he wins a championship without Shaq is the day Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers no longer exist, A-rod admits to using steroids and the Warriors decide to sign Corey Maggette instead of Baron Davis. It will never happen!)

Debate: Are the Lakers going to win the NBA Championship?

!@#%! the Lakers - Koski

After a brief, two season sojourn, Warriors’ fans find themselves in familiar territory: rooting for a team out of the playoff hunt before the All Star break. What will Warriors’ fans do with themselves come Tax day in mid-April when the regular season ends? Like any respectable Bay Area sports fan they will do what is in their blood, root against the Lakers. Never fear Warriors fans and other Lakers haters, even though they may have the best record in the NBA as I type this article the Lakers will NOT win the NBA title this season. In classic, lazy writing style, I will use RT’s (self proclaimed “Warriors fan”) column against him.

Reason #1: Chemistry

Gasol and Kobe can memorize the entire periodic table of elements and they still will not have as much chemistry as their main rivals in Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio and even Denver. Boston’s core is unchanged and despite the recent overtime home loss to the Lakers, they’ve proven they can beat this Lakers team already. Mo Williams scored 44 points against the Suns this week which is bad news for the rest of the NBA. LeBron James now has the wingman he was missing when he single-handedly brought the Cavs to the brink of a title.

Speaking of chemistry, is there a team in the NBA over the last decade that has defined team chemistry more than the San Antonio Spurs? In case you haven’t looked at the standings lately, the Denver Nuggets have the second best record in the West right now. Moving AI in itself is chemistry addition by subtraction, but replacing AI with Chauncey Billups is like trading Dan Marino for Ben Rorthlisberger. One guy has is a sure fire hall of famer and the other guy is a winner who is at his best in the clutch. I seem to remember a certain Detroit team lead by Billups beating a certain Lakers team lead by Kobe a few years ago?

Reason #2: Defense

The Lakers are a good defensive team, I’ll give them that, but the four teams I mentioned above are all better defensively than the Lakers according to John Hollinger’s Def Eff. This system measures the number of points allowed per 100 possessions which is important because the NBA post season is a different animal than the regular season. Defense becomes important and offensive pace is slowed down immensely. There will be no 144-129 shoot-outs like the Knicks-Warriors Tuesday night in the post season. Let’s not go crazy talking defense because you still have to score more points than your opponents to win and even I can admit, begrudgingly, that the Lakers are good at scoring points. However, I’ll let Hollinger explain why the Lakers will have a tough time winning the title even if they can sneak past Denver or San Antonio,

“The most important reason is that the NBA Power Rankings use point differential rather than win-loss record. There's a good reason for this: point differential is a better predictor of future success, and thus a more reliable barometer of a team's quality. The Lakers have the league's best record, but rank third in point differential -- Boston and Cleveland are ahead, and Orlando is just a 10th of a point behind in fourth.”

Reason #3: MVP!

Kobe may be one of the best players in the league, but the key to the Lakers winning the championship will be once again sitting on the bench. Andrew Bynum was the X-factor the Lakers were missing last year and it looks like there is a good chance they will be without him this year. Kobe is the super star and the go-to-guy for the Lake Show, but he’s not their most “valuable” player. Andrew Bynum’s presence offensively opens up the game for Gasol and Kobe and unlike Pau, Bynum can actually play defense means that he is the MVP of the Lakers. When Bynum is in the game, teams can’t double Gasol or Kobe and Pau and Bynum are a tough burden to guard down low for any roster. Defensively, the Lakers lose even more with Bynum out of the lineup. The Warriors stole unsung defensive hero Turiaf from the Lakers in the off-season because LA decided to keep Sash Vujacic instead. Turiaf and Bynum were the main low post defenders for the Lakers, who are now vulnerable to low post players like Duncan and NeNe as well as drivers like LeBron, Paul Pierce and Carmelo. Without Bynum, the Lakers are still capable of great things, just not taking home the title.

Although it’s been a disappointing season for the Oracle faithful, rest assured the next parade in LA won’t be until next January’s Parade of Roses.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wire Check - February 11, 2009

Wire Check – February 11, 2009

* There is only one reason to watch Bay Area sports and it is the Sharks

* In breaking news, Al Harrington does not like Don Nelson.

* The biggest game tonight is not UNC-Duke, it is the USA playing their most hated rival … Mexico.

* There have been some pretty good lawsuits in sports over the last year or two but this one might take the cake.

* And here I was thinking stoners were apathetic towards the world.

* Your next great sports city … Sacramento!?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Random Thoughts - February 9, 2009

Random Thoughts – February 9, 2009

* Giants fans and Bay Area residents were mocked as morons for cheering for Bonds after "Game of Shadows" came out. How much will A-Rod be booed when he hits 40+ HRs and drives in 100+ runs this season?

* It just seems fitting that Biedrins would get hurt this year.

* Did anybody listen to the KNBR broadcast from fan fest? How many times can you say “We are only interested in talking about the players that are here and we think they have a good chance to win the NL West”!?

* In case you were wondering, the Giants have no chance to win the NL West next year in their current form. Again, ZERO chance.

* It is about time we got a radio station in this town that would tell it how it is.

* I went to the Stanford-Washington basketball game last night and I don’t think the Cardinal ran more than one play the entire night. There’s nothing quite like trying to play street ball with a bunch of non-street ballers.

* Of course, nobody in the bay area media is telling you that because A) they don’t know any better or B) they don’t have the guts to say anything. Awesome.

* I have nothing to say about the Pro Bowl.

* Have a good week.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Manny or Bust

Manny or Bust

Do you like the idea of winning a World Series? I understand that most Giant fans don’t expect a World Series trip this season and why would they when the front office has turned the off-season into the annual “who can we overpay for this year” event. This year’s winner was Edgar Renteria who is being overpaid by exactly $18 mm because Orlando Cabrera is a better player and he is currently without a team. In addition to overpaying for players, the Giants brain trust continues to think having a collection of good not great players can lead you to a championship. Allow me to make something clear – having a few great players doesn’t guarantee your team a championship but not having any great players guarantees your team won’t win a championship. (Feel free to write that on your wall at home). With this thought in mind we come to Manny.

Manny Ramirez is the most feared right-handed hitter of my lifetime. He does not think or hit like any other hitter in the league. While Vlad will swing at anything, Pujols needs to give me a few more good years and A-rod will psych himself out for weeks at a time, Manny is rock solid consistent when he wants to be. The only reason anyone would not want him on his team is because he checks out once and awhile. The only legitimate reason to not sign Manny is because you fear his temperamental personality. We are all familiar with the concept of risk vs. reward. When your reward is a player that can carry a lineup for an entire season, it is almost impossible to justify not taking that risk.

(I would like to thank Manny Ramirez for single-handedly costing the Red Sox the World Series. I have to admit I have a soft spot for this guy. )

Let’s talk economics.

Here are some basic realities of the coming season for the Giants if they don’t do anything else this off-season:

No Manny

Ticket Sales: ~2,500,000 x $25 = $62,500,000

Merchandise Sales: ~$3,000,000

Payroll: ~90,000,000

TV Revenue: ~$20,000,000


Ticket Sales: ~2,800,000 x $25 = $70,000,000 (this projection is conservative)

Merchandise Sales: ~4,000,000

TV Revenue: ~$22,000,000

Comparison: Manny vs. No Manny

Ticket Sales: $70,000,000 - $62,500,000 = $7,500,000

Merchandise Sales: $4,000,000 - $3,000,000 = $1,000,000

TV Revenue: $22,000,000 - $20,000,000 = $2,000,000

Manny vs. No Manny = $7,500,000 + $1,000,000 + $2,000,000 = $10,500,000

Obviously, $10.5 mm does not get it done so one more move has to be made … trade Randy Winn to the Yankees for two interns and a bag of cool ranch Doritos. You now save $8,250,000. So what do you pay Manny? I am thinking $90,000,000 over 4 years. I think everyone wins with that deal. Here are the updated numbers for 2009:

$22,500,000 (Manny) – $8,250,000 (Winn) – $10,500,000 (Manny factor) = $3,750,000

In conclusion, the Giants would have to expand their budget by a measly $3,750,000 to instantly make them the favorites in the NL West. It’s too bad the Giants don’t have a dominant starting pitcher like Cole Hamels that can carry them to the World Series. Oh wait, they have Tim Lincecum. The signing of Manny is starting to make a whole lot of sense to this financial professional.

In conclusion, the argument for not signing Manny because of money does not add-up.

Sign Manny!

(Did I mention that the Dodgers team, front office and fans would be demoralized? Did I mention that Matt Holiday does not scare any pitcher in baseball and he will go to the Red Sox anyways? Did I mention that the Giants need to do something to prove to their fans that still believe they can win a world series that winning is one of their top priorities?)

No Mas Manny - Koski

No Mas Manny

The Giants should stay away from Manny Ramirez. Granted, he’s a future hall of fame player who put up Super MVP statistics after he was traded to the Dodgers last season, but Manny will not be signing a discount contract this winter. Manny forced his way out of Boston, giving up $40 million dollars, just so he could cash in as a free agent. This winter, Manny has already turned down a two year $45 million dollar deal and a one year $25 million dollar deal with the Dodgers. Ramirez switched agents almost a year ago, picking super agent Scott Boras, reportedly because Boras promised he could get Manny 6 years for $150 million. Regardless of what you think about that number, Boras is not in position to negotiate a discount contract. I would be all for the Giants to sign Manny to a one or two year deal, but it’s not going to happen. That means the only way the Giants could lure Manny would be to go to at least four years and over $100 million dollars. To a 36 year old left fielder? That’s more money than Bonds was making when he was launching asterisks out of AT&T all those years.

The Giants can’t afford to cripple their budget for another Boras client (only 5 more years of Zito!), especially when they have a well stocked farm system and a certain Cy Young winner they need to sign to an extension. Why are Manny Ramirez (and other FAs like Dunn, Abreu & Sheets) still available this close to spring training anyways? To borrow from Slick Willie, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Teams are nervous about future revenue and its effect on payroll. This recession could actually be really good for the Giants, believe it or not. If some of the smaller market teams feel the recession pinching their bottom line this season, teams could start unloading their pricey players at bargain prices.. The Brewers just signed Prince Fielder to a two year $18 million dollar contract, but will they be able to afford him and Ryan Braun (8 yrs/ $45mil) if things go south next year? There’s no telling who could end up on the market if a team underperforms on the field and at the ticket office. As luxury suite sales slow, front offices will begin to reexamine their financial position.. When teams gets nervous about the bottom line and want to sell off parts, buyers can get quality pieces at a discount.

What would signing Manny Ramirez mean to the 2009 Giants? Certainly, it would mean more wins and a more entertaining offense for Giants fans. I won’t argue against that, but would it automatically make the Giants World Series contenders? NL West contenders? The Dodgers won the NL West last year by two games, not even reaching 85 wins. Manny was playing out of his mind on a team with much better compliments than the Giants will have next season. Which group of supporting players has the better chance of reaching the World Series with Manny Ramirez: Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Raphael Furcal or Bengie Molina, Aaron Rowand, Pablo Sandoval, Randy Winn and Fred Lewis? Payroll flexibility is key for the Giants moving forward. Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand will be making a combined $30+ million dollars a year from 2010-2012. Add Manny Ramirez into the equation and the Giants would be paying $50-$60 million for three players, three! The best course of action is for the Giants to be patient and see who becomes available during the season. Usually, expiring contracts are NBA trade pieces, but the state of the economy could force MLB teams’ to rethink acquiring those contracts. The Giants have a glut of expiring contracts after 2009: Bengie Molina ($6mm), Randy Johnson ($8 mm), Randy Winn ($8.25mm), Dave Roberts ($6.5 mm), and Noah Lowery ($4.5 mm). The Giants shouldn’t waste their money on Manny Ramirez. Save the money for Matt Holliday and Brain Roberts or desperate teams who want to move their pricey stars.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wire Check - February 4, 2009

* It looks like Stanford may turn into a football power after all

* Al Davis gains more power ... hard to imagine

* There are two bright people in the Bay Area. Me and Bruce Jenkins. Sign Manny!!

* A bland Warriors season = bland Warriors articles. Make the pain stop!

* Today's feel good story - Meet Cal basketball recruit Bak Bak

* The token soccer article of the week comes from Arsenal who are giving up on this season even though it is far from over.

* Come back tomorrow for the debate: Should the Giants sign Manny? (Yes)