Monday, May 20, 2013

Random Monday Thoughts

Okay everyone. Sorry I have not posted anything in awhile.  I decided to go back and delete all my old posts and start fresh.  I am going to start posting at least one article a day, and if I could ever convince my brother to start writing stuff for the blog, who knows how much material we could get out.  Anyway, our new Monday column is Random Monday Thoughts.  I don't believe I know anyone that enjoys Mondays, and I don't exactly have everything organized in my head on a Monday.  Therefore, this space will be dedicated to random musings about the previous weekend in sports.
The Dodgers bullpen may be in more trouble that even most experts expected.  Installing Brandon League at closer was a terrible move from the start, but after consecutive rough outings by Kenley Jansen against the Braves, who knows what to do.  I guess they could close with Paco Rodriguez, but he's more of a lefthanded specialist in my not so humble opinion.  A lot of pitchers will go through rough stretches, and in Jansen's defense the Braves are no slouches at hitting, but given League's struggles, the Dodgers cannot afford to have Jansen struggle at all.  According to the Braves broadcast on Sunday, Evan Gattis got his scouting report on Jansen from Justin Upton.  Basically Upton told him to wait until he saw one coming at him, then let it fly.  Jansen throws a lot of cutters (currently 92.0% according to Fangraphs) and they usually are quite successful.  However, the Braves' scouting report from Upton was wait until it looks inside and unload.  Jansen might not be that simple to hit, but he may need to start using his offspeed pitches a bit more if this keeps up.
The Blue Jays are in serious trouble.  Stop the presses if you've heard that one so far this season.  The problems are numerous, but the glaring issue is that the Jays are 8-17 against the AL East.  You can't make up ground if you can't beat your division opponents.    They are 1-8 against my beloved Yankees.  As much as I like the Yankees, there is no excuse for the Jays to be 1-8 against them.  Until the Jays start playing significantly better ball against division foes, the non-division results are just completely unimportant. 
I know this thought is a bit late, but people really seem to take how good Clayton Kershaw is for granted.  We all know he's stellar, but according to an article I read, he has the lowest ERA of any starter with 1000 IP during the integration in his career.  Baseball-Reference's Play Index agrees.  Just to show you how dominate he's been, the three guys directly behind him are Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, and Jim Palmer.   I know ERA is not a perfect stat, but he's third in ERA+ as well, behind only Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.  This guy is special and he's only 25.  He's also an absolute steal for the high paying Dodgers at only $11M for this season.  The guy is easily worth twice that amount.
David Price being put on the DL is never a good thing, but maybe it will give him a chance to reset his season.  There's no way to know this, but he could very well have been pressing because he had a couple of bad outings in a row that made his stats look rough.  It's a contract year for Price and bad stats might cost him a little money.  As a Yankees fan, I really don't like having to hit this guy as much as we do, but I really hope he gets back and throws like he's capable of as soon as possible.  He's a joy to watch and one of my favorite non-Yankees. 
So everyone had pretty much written off the Spurs after three games against the Warriors.  Then they decide to sweep the remainder of that series.  Getting the Grizzlies is no consolation prize for winning, and I will admit that I think the Grizzlies will win this series.  However, the offensive performance they laid on that vaunted Memphis defense in Game 1 was a thing of beauty.  No one does that to the Grizzlies.  They won't have nights like that offensively every game, but a belated kudos to Pop for being able to switch from his hardnosed defensive style over to the free flowing offense when his personnel needed him to do so.
Lebron decided to respond to Frank Vogel's description of the Heat as "just another team."  I'm sorry that Lebron felt slighted by that comment.  What was Vogel supposed to say? Would you prefer him to say "We're playing the greatest team of all time, and we have no shot at beating them?"  No one would make that claim.  Vogel's statement was just basic coachspeak.  I'm a huge Lebron fan and he normally does a very good job of not making idiotic comments in the press. I thought this one was quite ridiculous.  Shut your mouth and dominate the series if you take offense to being classified like everyone else.
I saw news this weekend that Nerlens Noel will be ready to go by December.  Ladies and gentlemen, your surefire No. 1 overall draft pick.  I expect Noel to have a steeper learning curve that Anthony Davis faced this year.  If he's not back until December, you can't honestly expect any serious production from the guy until late February.  I'm not saying he's not worthy of being the first overall selection, but whomever ends up with him is most likely going to be looking at another year picking high in the lottery. 
Hope you enjoyed these random musings.  Feel free to comment below and tell me what you think.
--Pinstripe Wizard

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