Category: Basketball

Sanchez vs. Morrison

Sanchez vs. Morrison

We knew it was coming. At some point, Gary Sanchez was going to have to make a comment about the criticism given by Logan Morrison. Morrison, who has hit 11 more home runs than Sanchez was upset that he isn’t in the home run derby and Sanchez is. What Sanchez had to say was disappointing.

“They gave me an invitation,” Sanchez said. “That’s something I have no control over. It’s not my fault he didn’t get selected.”

That’s it? Really?

Sanchez did his best to wash his hands of the situation, but he didn’t have to. Professional athletes all have egos. The next time Sanchez hits a homer against the Rays, he’ll say something as he rounds first base. Morrison will do the same when he touches home plate after a tater against the Yankees.

Talk about it off the field please.

The National Basketball Association is showcasing how to take advantage of players having problems with each other. Draymond Green and Lebron James have been in a petty shirt war since the Golden State Warriors championship parade. Kevin Durant wore a hat with a cupcake on it to a charity softball event, taking a jab at Oklahoma City Thunder fans who called him a cupcake for leaving the team. That’s entertaining.

Politically, Sanchez did the right thing, but that isn’t the arena he is in. Emotion is cool. People become invested when they feel a certain way. With a chance to draw fans in to pay attention to baseball, Sanchez disappointed.

 

Freedom & Free Passes

Freedom & Free Passes

July just started, so it’s time to celebrate freedom. In my book, it’s tough to find a holiday better than the Fourth of July. Sun is shining, beer is flowing and baseball is all over my TV screen. For the Seattle Mariners, two unassuming pitchers have been denying freedom this season, and it’s the only time I can dig it.

 

Sam Gaviglio is quietly putting up the best numbers amongst Mariner starting pitchers. The 27-year-old has made nine starts, throwing 51.2 innings. He’s gone 3-3 with a 3.48 earned run average. There is nothing intimidating about the rookies repertoire. He touches low 90’s, and allows hitters to make contact. He allows eight hits per nine innings, but it doesn’t prove catastrophic for Giviglio and his squad.

Arial Miranda wasn’t in the projected opening day rotation, but he probably should have been. The left hander has started 17 games, replacing Drew Smyly who will miss the remainder of the 2017 season, and most likely the start of 2018 after having Tommy John Surgery. Miranda is sitting 7-4 with a 3.82 ERA. Miranda gives up 7.1 hits per nine innings.

Both guys toe the line of staying in the strike zone too often. They give up a fair amount of hits, but hardly walk anyone. Gaviglio is giving up 2.8 walks per nine, while Miranda gives up 3.2 free passes per nine. If batters are getting on base, its by their own merit. Nothing comes free from Gaviglio or Miranda.

The Fourth of July is arguably the best holiday on the calendar. Everyone in the country gets to celebrate freedom. On the diamond, Gaviglio and Miranda have hardly given anything up for free. Low walk totals are the only form of oppression I can get behind.

 

 

 

 

All-star Importance, Lack-Luster Presentation

All-star Importance, Lack-Luster Presentation

The Minnesota Twins secured home field advantage in the World Series last night. A pair of Kansas City Royals each drove in two runs, giving the American League the win in the Major League Baseball All-star game. The problem with the all-star game is not that the winning league receives home field advantage in the World Series, it’s the presentation.

The MLB All-star game has consequences even though it is an exhibition. The National Football League and National Basketball Association all-star games are hardly worth watching. No part of the game resembles and actual contest between the best players from each league. Robinson Cano got one at bat in last nights all-star game. Cano worked a full count, eventually drawing a walk. That approach and effort was no different from any regular season game.

The image of the all-star game has yet to evolve with the significance of the game. During the regular season, players talk to each other while they are on  the field. However players may cover their mouth with their glove, or cameras cut away from the conversation. During an all-star game broadcast, the on field banter between players is glorified, making it feel less intense than a regular season game. If players weren’t mic’d up, or the playful nature wasn’t glorified, this game would feel like any other.

The pageantry that comes with an all-star game is to be expected. The players in the game are the best in the world at what they do. Events such as fan fest, as well as the red carpet do not take away from the game being played. Moving forward, the hoopla should take place the night before during the home run derby.

The Twins are 32-56, 20 games back in their division, and 17.5 games back of the second wild card spot. If the Twins can turn their season around, game one of the World Series will be in Minnesota. Opposed to popular opinion, I have no problem with the all-star game deciding where game one of the World Series takes place. However, the presentation of the event should match the magnitude of the outcome.

Robot Referees Won’t Make Mistakes

Robot Referees Won’t Make Mistakes

I am so frustrated with authority figures making mistakes while officiating sporting events. Umpires, referee’s, line judges it makes no difference. We have the technology, why not make machines to enforce rules? Human error would finally be erased from sports. Could you imagine how much better the games would be? I can, and they would be much, much worse.

The University of Miami pulled off a miracle, 8 lateral pass, kick return for a touchdown to beat Duke on Oct. 31. At first, the world was in awe. Later the world realized the touchdown was awful. Referee’s made four total errors on the final play of the game, which would have taken the game winning points off of the board. In response the NCAA has banned the officiating crew for two games without pay.

That doesn’t change the the bogus fact, that the Blue Devils lost to the Hurricanes.

On Nov. 1, the Seahawks got away with something that could have altered the outcome of the one point game. Pete Carroll made the mistake of calling a second straight time out. This should have resulted in a penalty, giving the Dallas Cowboys a first down. Instead the referee’s told the world they made a mistake, and the game continued on.

Major League Baseball umpires never catch a break. Networks use pitch tracking technology to show if a pitch truly should have been a strike or not. Based off of that technology, those home plate umpires are the worst officials in all of sports.

Basketball referees turn to a monitor to decide if a players foot was on a line, to judge intent on a hard foul and to see if a game changing shot left a players hand before time had expired. It’s 2015, shouldn’t technology have been developed to where the court itself can alert the teams if a player is out of bounds, or on the three point line?

Every major sport uses reply to review crucial points in a contest. It seems that when authority figures go to the replay booth, is the only time they get a call right. I don’t even see the need for human referee’s anymore. Maybe we should get rid of them.

While we are at it, I am tired of seeing base running mistakes, fumbled snaps and turnovers. Let’s build machines that play the sports for us. I would be intrigued to see a Super Bowl match up between Tom Bradybot, and Arron Robo. Two perfect teams, with perfect officiating seems like the perfect sporting experience.

Perfection in sports would take away everything we love about them. I love seeing a hitter take advantage of a mistake pitch, and follow it by unleashing a bat flip that disgraces the pitchers entire family. The internet explodes every time Steph Curry puts a defender on roller skates. Stories of persevering over adversity wouldn’t exist. Even the mistakes made by referee’s get the attention of the viewing audience.

Mistakes lead to emotion. Frustration with referee’s, heartbreak for those affected, elation if your team benefits. As a sports fan, I want the events to be full of errors. Sports are unlike anything else, the imperfections are what makes them perfect.