Posted on: May 27, 2009 5:22 pm
 

The King is no Heir to Air Jordan's throne.

 King James is No Air Jordan, now and will never be. I’m not saying he won't be an excellent basketball player and leave his mark as one of the best in the league, but Jordan is still in a league of his own. Lebron reminds me more of Magic than Jordan and that's not too shabby. After all if Magic Johnson's career had played out he to would be remember for how great he truly was. But Lebron size and athletic ability seems to fit more of Magic the MJ, and he should play as such. He can not be all over the floor he is just too big, he needs to become some one who can move the mall quickly and efficiently, rather than making shots for himself the Jordan could. Jordan's presence on the floor instantly made everyone around him better. His team would see better shots, be in better position and even carry themselves better on the court; it’s obvious that the Cavs can't say the same thing about King James yet. Although he could score from anywhere on the floor, he can not play to MJ's level, especially on defense. So I have had enough of all this " The Next Jordan", especially from Lebron James. There will be no next Air Jordan as we learned from Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant and now Lebron. Just as there has not been any other Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell or Dr J's.  Sure they'll be greats but let Jordan go in peace, he's the best there ever was. So for all you out there ESPECIALLY King James stop with the Jordan talk, your not worthy!
Posted on: April 6, 2009 10:55 am
 

It's Opening Day, FINALLY

 Yet another season has begun, and as for today we can all imaging are favorite players having career years. After all everyone has a shot this today. This is the day when our favorite veterans will find their missing potential like Cliff Lee did last year or the fountain of youth that Mike Mussina drank from. This is a day of hope and dreams that will soon be squashed for most, since there is only a few of these a season.  In just the next month fans will become desperate as favorites start to struggle while others will be ready to hand out MVP and " this year's Rays." It will all be premature, since the season is so long and the first months usually don't tell the same story as August and September.

 But for one area of the country, the East, today and tomorrow will be under the microscope. With all the talent and money spent on the coast this season expectations are high, and the pressure will be too. Both leagues run deepest in the East and most likely some of the best teams in the baseball will not make the playoff due to this depth. These players and teams will have to be ready today, ever game matters now. The talent is stacked so playing catch-up will prove quite difficult, just ask the Yankees.  With so much made of their offseason, taken both as they played off last year, not making the playoffs for the first time since pre-Torre, as well as the check signing seminar that occurred over the past months. What I don't get is why the signed so many typical slow starters. Both Tex and CC usually take some time to get going, which usually takes till the weather gets warm. That could lead to an unruly situation in the Bronx this spring. The Red Sox, who have done so well with Atlanta's formula, having  a great farm system, went out and spend far less on far older and more questionable talent. They do have depth though and may be able to piece together players throughout the long season. Then there are the Rays. They have more experience and confidence after their Cinderella year, but can they regain that magic. Part of the mystic that got these guys firing on all cylinders was that they were not supposed to be there at the top of the east. All year the media waited for the collapse, which never happened. Now rather than being the glorious underdogs, the pressure of success will weigh on this young team, and Joe Madden will have to find all new techniques to motivate. A slow start may crush these young boys’ hearts. To add to matters a talented Blue Jays crew can now fly under the radar and pick up some wins for Team Canada. They  have a good pitching staff lead by the work horse of the majors Halliday. They will get their fair share. So wins will be at a premium in this division.

 So what will the NL east have to show for itself. The Phillies are defending champs and are returning most of the core players. The question is can they repeat the success and most of all consistency for the full season. Last year they had clutch hitting and the best bullpen in the sport, both are historically hard to duplicate. The Mets have their own obvious demons to overcome, and can do so by actually showing up in September for once. They think they have found the recipe as previously mentioned with the Phils, and went out and stocked their bullpen. They still have to go out and prove themselves, since Putz will have to have the same mentality in the set-up role, which can be tough and K-Rod will be out of the comfortable AL West and have to get actual saves with 1 and 2 run leads, rather than his typical 3 run leads. O yeah and they just picked up a team killer for the league minimum. I see them paying more in wins than the initial league minimum they will sign over to him. Factor in the Marlins who seem to never go away easy, and the Braves who have been laying in the weeds for the right time to strike. They have retooled and  will be ready.

So baseball in the East starts from Day 1, the race is on.

 

Posted on: April 3, 2009 11:39 am
 

Cutler or the System?

 

The Denver Broncos pulled off and amazing magic act yesterday by making the Bears look at Cutler's gifts in the right hand, and holding out the truth in the left. Too often we forget to look at the system the players are put in, especially QB's.  The quarterback position is held in a much higher regard than any other position on the field, partly because their often the face on the franchise, and they are so valuable. But we must always look at what they have around them to work with.

   Was Kurt Warner as bad as he was in NY, when he had a beat up line and aging receivers? Or was he as good as he was with the greatest show on turf? It also seems the back-up QBs run through had some sort of success when put into that system in St. Louis, when it was at running full speed. How was it that a good QB in Randall Cunningham, became a great QB over night when given Randy Moss and Chris Carter? And with Randy Moss, Tom Brady was able to set the TD records he was never thought to be in contention with. It seems all the greats had their great WRs; Montana and Rice, Aikman and Irving, Manning and Harrison, Roethlisberger and Ward, Marino and ... well not all great abs. But then again Marino never got a ring. So there seems to be something to this. Was Eli Manning finally maturing or was it Burress' arrival that put him in the elite level? After all it’s only a completion if there’s some one there to catch the ball.

   It also seems that great quarterbacks can not play from their backs. Eli, Peyton, Brady (or Cassel), Brees and Warner all had top WRs to help them but also they didn't spend much time on the ground.  Surprise, surprise a QB needs time to find an open receiver and throw the ball. Just think back to the unbelievable season journeyman Rich Gannon had taking the Raiders to the Super bowl. It wasn't a coincidence that he had a break out year so late in his career when he got placed on a team with not only Rice, and Brown, but also with a offensive line that gave him more than enough time for those aging future Hall of Famers to get open. Now think how he faired when on key player, center Pro Bowler Barrett Robbins, was absent from the Super bowl?  So it also takes a very good line play to make a great quarterback.

  So what made Cutler so great? He certainly didn't have any great WR's? He however did have a very good and deep crop to throw to. He also had a very good offensive line in front of him. Now one knock against this theory has been that he didn't a running game with an unthinkable amount of injuries occurring to their backfield this season. But Denver and Mike Shannahan had been able to place anyone in that backfield over the years and make them produce at a high level. And after those players left Denver it showed it was more the system and not the back.  So with all that around him yes Cutler did make the Pro Bowl, but Chicago does not look as inviting. There is no help for a QB in the windy city, where at a mile high in the sky can be quite comfortable for some one to take a few snaps. So I would look for a capable Kyle Orton to have a break out year, when the game will just slow down around him in Denver. On the other hand a strong armed Cutler may be able to cut through the winds of Chicago, but there will be no one there to pull down those passes but defenders. That is if he can stay upright long enough to release the ball. So look for this once rising star to fade as his sacks and interceptions will both increase this season. While Orton the conservative Orton may be the steal of the trade accompanied by some prize first round pieces thanks to the Bears pulling the trigger a little to fast on this one.

 

 
 
 
 
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