Friday, June 27, 2003

Welcome to the initial posting of my new blog. Here you will find musings and thoughts on sports with the occasional entertainment tidbit sprinkled in as well. Let's get the initial post started with some trade news or no trade news as it were.

LeBron goes #1
To the suprise of no one, LeBron James went #1 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft last night. The top 4 pretty much when according to plan, but then the Miami Heat bypassed Texas' T.J. Ford in favor of Dwyane Wade of Marquette. The LA Clippers then ruined the career of Center Chris Kaman by selecting him. The entire draft was pretty much an anti-climactic piece of garbage. I'm not really averse to the international influx, but who gave their interpreters the night off? Just because you've been here a few weeks and are now part of the NBA doesn't mean you know English. Hell, most of the American born NBA players don't know English.

ESPN's coverage wasn't bad as it wasn't their fault the draft was such a disappointment. However, in order to get some attention, they allowed Jim Gray to drop the nugget that Kobe Bryant will opt of his contract after this year to test the free agent waters, read: see if Shaq's healthy and if Phil Jackson is going to stay or retire. A pretty useless scoop overall, but you can't blame them for trying. The biggest reach of the night was Dahntay Jones from Duke at 20 to Boston. He was later packaged with Troy Bell and sent to Memphis for Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. The line of the night belongs to Jay Bilas as he layed into former Oregon guard Luke Ridnour saying he "couldn't guard the chair I'm sitting in." The lowlight of the night was Tom Tolbert. Aside from the annoying lisp, he appeared as though he didn't even want to be there. He and Dick Vitale verbally sparred for the better half of the night and he got it in his mind somewhere that he's funny alas, he is not... at all!

Juan not Gone...
Apparently happy with losing, Texas Rangers slugger, Juan Gonzalez has declined a chance to go the Montreal Expos in a trade that would send two to three pitching prospects back to the Rangers. Gonzalez, who once rejected a trade from the Detroit Tigers to the New York Yankees, might be the first athlete in the history of sports who simply doesn't care about winning. The dreadful Rangers (29-48) are in arm's length of the 26 win Padres and inching closer to the aforementioned Tigers for the worst record in the league and realize they need to start cutting some salary and pick up some pitching prospects. Their horrid 6.23 team ERA is worst in the majors by almost an entire run (5.54 Cincy), meaning pitching prospects, whether A-list, B-list or D-list are better than what they have coming through their system. The Expos (43-35), currently without RF Vladimir Guerrero, wanted to add Gonzalez's 18 HR and 50 RBI to a lineup that sorely misses the rightfielder. Even more deadly would have been combining Gonzalez and Guerrero with Jose Vidro, Orlando Cabrera, & Brad Wilkerson. An "official" decision is expected during the weekend, but no one expects Gonzalez to go back on his initial decision to decline the trade per his no-trade clause.

Which leads me to my next point, "no-trade clause" are becoming the three most evil words in baseball since "George Steinbrenner signs..." and is the primary reason why Oakland allowed 1B Jason Giambi to flee to the Yankees. Giambi was ready to sign a long contract to stay in the Bay Area, but terms couldn't be met on a no-trade clause that Giambi wanted in his contract. However, I think had the A's granted Giambi his "ntc" and subsequently fell into cellar a la Texas and then wanted to trade him to a contender for prospects, he'd waive the clause and move along to a contender because he's set on winning. Gonzalez appears to truly view baseball a regular job, just like we do with our 8 to 5 desk jobs. He got transferred to Detroit which would be like being transferred to the mail-room of your company and he couldn't perform adequately so he wanted the fences moved in or himself out of Detroit. Kind of like if your mail cart had a wobbly wheel and you threatened to leave if matters weren't made better. When he was offered the trade to New York and declined (probably because of the pressure packed scenario in the Big Apple), it'd be like being offered a promotion to CEO, yet not being able to handle the pressure of running a company when you can barely run the mail room. This situation just leaves fans of other sports again shaking their heads at baseball mumbling the usual, "That's typical of a baseball player."

Fullmer's season comes to an end; Kent hits the DL
Anaheim Angel 1B/DH Brad Fullmer ruptured his patella tendon last night running out a groundball against Seattle. Fullmer was hitting .306 with 9 HRs and took a paycut last season to remain on the reigning champion Angels team. I would think that 4th OF Jeff DaVanon would be a primary beneficiary of this otherwise bad situation. DaVanon made a splash filling in for Darin Erstad and has 9 HRs & 8 SBs while hitting .333 in 52 games. Other guys that stand to see an increase in ABs are Shawn Wooten & Eric Owens.

Jeff Kent of the Houston Astros will hit the DL for a couple of weeks with wrist tendinitis. This is the second wrist injury to an Astro infielder this week as Jose Vizcaino had his wrist broken by a pitch from Arizona Diamond Stephen Randolph in Tuesday's night Astro loss. Kent's 50 RBI lead the team and his ABs will be absorbed by super utility man, Geoff Blum.