Good Night Mark Jackson

Oh the life of a Warriors fan. W’s fans have had plenty of down time over the years to reflect on bad decisions since we’ve seen so many of them. Strangely I’ve found this whole Mark Jackson fiasco entertaining, but mostly because of the reaction it got. It seemed like a lot of people around the bay area wanted heads to roll in the front office for it. I watched about 90% of their games this season, and more than a handful of times they looked unprepared and unmotivated. Especially against some of the weaker teams in the league. I’m not saying that I’m an expert, but for a guy that’s supposed be such a good motivator, you shouldn’t be losing that many of those types of games especially not 10 of them over a year in a conference as good as the West. If they won 5 of those 10 that I thought they should’ve won, they would’ve been ahead of the Rockets and Blazers in the standings. The lack of preparation showed on the offensive end as well with isolation plays taking up way too many possessions. Another thing that really bugged me was the hockey substitution pattern he had, especially when their bench was proven to be terrible. Why would you put in 5 not very good players at once? Can’t you mix and match some starters with the bench? Anyways, the only thing I was really concerned about when I heard the MJ news was, I hope they get someone that Curry likes enough to stay here when his contract is up in 3 years.

I’ve heard a lot of outrage from national media, local media, and fans, but in all honesty I think it stems back to the previous ownership group that didn’t get anything right on just about every level. I’m not the biggest fan of Lacob as a person and how visible of an owner he is, but he sure has helped them come a long way from when he first bought the team in 2010. I might be one of the few out there that truly trusts this ownership group. After someone gets fired you have to look back at the series of smart moves which gave Mark Jackson the tools to actually be a successful coach. After all, your team is only as good as your players, and without the pieces you don’t go from 27 to 48 to 51 wins. The way a lot of media seems to spin it, is that MJ was the only reason they made the improvement.

The first move they made that really got me excited about the new regime wasn’t a player signing, it was hiring The Logo, Jerry West as an adviser to the team. After years of watching the clueless Larry Riley sign bad contracts and trade players away and see them excel elsewhere, we finally had someone we could lean on and trust to make the right moves. He was instrumental in the selection of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green during the 2011 draft who look like damn good players at the moment.

They then promoted Bob Myers to the GM position. I wasn’t overly excited about that one, but the former agent has pulled off some great moves in his time here. The two players that were on that 2011 team that are still here when he was hired are David Lee and Stephen Curry. He pulled off the Bogut for Monta trade, which obviously worked out better for the W’s than it did for the Bucks. That trade also freed up the team to be Curry and Klay’s team and helped them grow into the players they are today. He made the cap sucking corpses of Andris Biendris, Richard Jefferson, and Brandon Rush turn into the swiss army knife Andre Iguodala. He found the valuable assets in Jarret Jack and Carl Landry for the 12-13 season. Oh and he hired Mark Jackson to coach this team. Sure, they’ve had some mis-steps like using the amnesty on Charlie Bell instead of Andris Biendris, but at least that move was to make room to give Deandre Jordan and Tyson Chandler offer sheets.

So why am I not bent out of shape that they let Jackson go? Because there’s starting to be a track record with this ownership group and making SMART decisions. Honestly if you told me three years ago when they took over that they’d be in back to back playoffs and have one of the best starting fives in the league, I would’ve probably thought you were on crack. It has happened though, and contrary to public opinion it seems like this ownership group has a plan, and is being tactical in the way they are making moves. I’ve never been able to say that or thought I’d be able to say that. They stuck out with Keith Smart, and did well with Jackson, but weren’t satisfied, so we’ll see if they find THE guy this time around.


Enjoying the Amazin A’s

I think I’m still on a high of sorts after going to all three games of the sweep against Texas that sealed the AL west crown. This post summed up how I think all the A’s fans out there felt when they won. I planned to go to the first two games, but told myself if they won the first two, I’d go to the final game. I haven’t seen the crowd that fired up (or that many people at the coliseum) since I went to a playoff game back in the mid-2000’s. I didn’t lose my mind like this guy, but rest assured I was in a state of delirium like everyone else out there during the sweep.

All I know is this year was much more special than any season I’ve watched including those powerful late 80’s teams. There’s something that makes it exponentially more fulfilling when you come out of nowhere to win opposed to when your supposed to win. Is it sustainable in the playoffs? Maybe, maybe not, but the ride they took us on this year was more than amazing regardless of the final results. I can’t wait for these guys to get some of the coverage they deserve since all the national TV shows just talk about Baltimore’s magical season. I even heard one guy saying he didn’t even consider Melvin for the AL manager of the year until they won on Wednesday. REALLY, not even a consideration until Wednesday!?! Have you been watching them at all!?! I mean didn’t they play the AL East and dominate them in 46 games? If you haven’t seen them play this year, you are missing out. There’s so many story lines and interesting facts with this team I don’t even know what direction to go for this post, so I decided to link you to some random posts and videos that I thought were pretty cool, and maybe it will explain some stuff when you watch their home games in the ALDS.

Here’s a fake mini script of the Moneyball II that I actually did laugh out loud while reading, which doesn’t happen often when I’m by myself. I guess I only laughed because the whole thing represents the way A’s fans thought Beane put this team together at the beginning of the year. Speaking of Billy Beane, I never lost faith in the guy, he had a 10 year pass after those early to mid 2000 teams.

Here’s 10 stories about A’s players that you might not know about unless you’ve followed this team. My personal favorite is that Dan Straily and AJ Griffin were slanging shoes last year as part time jobs in the off season, and are now key contributors to the magical season. If you want some cool stats, check out Dubsism’s latest post. He broke down spending per win and much more that I haven’t seen anyone else break down, and why spending doesn’t always equal winning. The Bleacher Report actually did a pretty good one on the path the A’s have taken through the season, although it could easily be twice as long.

I know a lot of people say A’s fans are weak, and they don’t show up to games, but in all fairness there’s a lot of people who hate owner Lew Wolffe because he doesn’t want to stay in Oakland. Some don’t go because the coliseum is in the ghetto, and if you make a wrong turn leaving you are ending up in a scary area. Can’t say I blame them, but the ones that do show up are rabid fans and you rarely see band wagoners there like at Giants games. I didn’t go nearly as much as I should’ve this year, but I tried to make up for it the last two months, and haven’t regretted going to any of their games.

The Bernie Lean has taken over the coliseum. They play it every game between an inning or two. It actually gets more people out of their seats than “Call Me Maybe”. The players bust out Bernie Leans’ during the game after a big play or hit, and sometimes in the clubhouse celebrations.

It actually started with this super ghetto version of Weekend at Bernies by ISA. The song came on in the clubhouse from someone’s Ipod, and Inge liked it thought it was so ridiculously funny he made it his walk up song. Now Coco has the Bernie walk up song with Inge out for the year to keep the tradition going.

The Balfour Rage is pretty fun. Not only are you fired up for the last three outs when the closer comes in, but you get to join in a stadium wide mosh pit. It beats the hell out of the rally monkey! I honestly think the crowd fires up Balfour enough to put a couple extra MPH on his pitches. It’s the perfect intro to a guy that cusses in his glove all inning in Australian. Without spewing any stats in this post I hope it gives you an idea of the remarkable experience this has been for the fans, even if you live on the east coast and have been asleep when they’re playing.


Traditional Wedding

I’ve seen a lot of spectacles on the wedding front over the past few years, and by my count I’ve gone to 14 of them, but all pale in comparison to the originality of this one. Honestly how come E! doesn’t follow around the Black Hole crew instead of following around the Kardashians? If only the Raiders would take this much pride in wearing the silver and black as their fans do…


Fans Being Fans

By and I were fully on the Denard Robinson bandwagon when he  broke onto the scene a couple years ago. Since then, I haven’t payed as much attention to him, but this year he’s the third most likely to win the Heisman according to Vegas. It will be his final year at Michigan, so hopefully he keeps those electric plays coming since I’m not so sure he’ll make it in the NFL. Not only was this video pretty funny, but it sums up just how into sports us “die-hard” fans are. Something our significant others and friends may never truly understand.


Bartolo and the Kings

Bartolo Colon’s suspension for testosterone wasn’t all that shocking to me. I like Colon, he seems like a nice guy that’s having fun in the twilight of his career, and in the end I don’t care that much that he used something that was banned. How else  could a 39 year old increase his velocity after having it be down for a few years? German surgery? I’m sure that helped, but not as much as the cream and the clear did. At least he said bye to his teammates which is more than Melky can say. I’ve seen a few people say the A’s are done, and I couldn’t disagree more. Of all the positions on the team, starting pitching is what they have the most depth in. Colon was only 10-9, so it’s not like the A’s lost a Cy Young contender or anything. This is a team that is used to moving on, and unless it’s Reddick or Cespedes getting popped, this team will take it in stride and move on like they have all year. If baseball really wants to stop the cheating, maybe they’ll introduce a new rule that gives teams the option to cut a players contract and guaranteed money to make all players who use something a little more weary of doing it. Imagine if the Yankees simply cut A-Rod one year into his contract after they found out he used steroids. Seems fair to me, you put the organization in jeopardy, you lose millions, and with millions on the line it would make them question their actions a little more. It wouldn’t deter everyone, but I think it would help.

The Sacramento Kings are heading to Virginia Beach!?! Not exactly a hot spot for basketball, but once again it shows how desperate the Maloofs are to get out of Sac since they’ve burned that bridge a few times over. The Nets, Wizards, Sixers, and Bobcats all reside in that general area, and are in the bottom of the league in attendance (aside from the Sixers), why would Virginia be any better. The only reason the Kings don’t draw in Sacramento anymore is because the fans hate the Maloofs so much they don’t want to give them any of their hard earned money. Can’t say I blame one of them. Oh, and they kinda suck, and are always spending the least they possibly can on team payroll, so that factors in a little too. Even if they do agree to a deal and everything seems set in place, the Maloofs are really good at backing out of a plan, so I won’t believe it until they’re breaking ground for the new arena in Virginia. The only hope for the Kings staying in Sac is that the Maloofs go broke and need to sell the team in order to stay afloat financially.


The Tear Away

On a scale from Melky to King Felix, I’d say this ranks pretty close to Felix as far as commercials go. I know there wasn’t a ton of “acting” involved, but they didn’t look stiff like a lot of athletes look on camera, and it gave me a little laugh.


If you can’t beat them, bite them

Watching this video reminded me that I haven’t been to the horse racing track in awhile. Probably a good thing since I’ve only won big once in my life, and it happened to be the first time I went to the track giving me unrealistic hopes. Since then it’s just some expensive cocktails. Anyways, good ol’ Woodman’s Luck pulled a Mike Tyson in this 1/2 furlong battle in my favorite track (Del Mar)…


A’s Stand Pat

Last night I went to the A’s vs. Rays 5 hour marathon that ended in a surprising 12th walk off win for the A’s. The highlight other than the walk off sac fly was either seeing Cespedes fly around the bases or the seemingly standard outfield assist from Reddick. As the innings rolled along was thinking about the good things that come from having a dive park. One, you never have to worry about a game being sold out (except against the Giants), and two, you can get in for under $15 and sit in pretty good seats or at least move to some. Also, the fans that go to the game seem genuinely into the game opposed to the other parks I’ve been to where cell phones seem to rule the stands.

Anyways, bear with me, because sometimes I stray on my A’s posts due to extreme excitement. I wasn’t disappointed to see the A’s not make any moves at the deadline. Even though the Angels and Rangers made big splashes with their pitching acquisitions of Greinke and Dempster. In Beane we trust, and if he didn’t see the right deal for the A’s there probably wasn’t one. Plus the A’s already made their moves in June right around the time they started taking off. Waiver claims on Travis Blackley and Brandon Inge have been huge boosts while giving up nothing. Everyone they’ve called up from the minors seems to help in one way or another. If for some reason they need help in the starting pitching department when the rookies hit their limits or break down a little, they currently have SP Dan Straily waiting in AAA and he’s the #1 rated prospect in all of baseball according to ESPN. They also have proven pitching in Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, and Brandon McCarthy all rehabbing from injuries. The only obvious place they needed an upgrade was shortstop, and last night recent shortstop call up Brandon Hicks hit a game tying homer. Hicks also had a walkoff in his third game with the A’s. One of the many examples of the A’s stumbling into found money in their system this year.

Everyone says the A’s need another bat, because they have the worst BA in the league, but when you get past the BA there’s a lot of good things going on. The BA statistic can be misleading, because since early June the A’s aren’t bad on offense, and the big reason their BA is so low is because of a dreadful April and May where they only averaged just over 2 runs per game. During their current July streak they only trail the Yankees in homers for the month, so standing pat is more and more palatable when they’ve gone from last to eighth in a month and a half in homers hit in the AL. Chris Carter’s emergence has been crucial to protecting Cespedes in the lineup, as he’s finally showing the patience and power that had A’s fans so excited about his Ryan Howard type potential when they acquired him in the Dan Haren deal.

Some think the A’s will fade as the season gets into August and September, but weren’t they supposed to fade when they had to play the Rangers and Yankees? Wasn’t the fairy tale story supposed to fade when they went back east to play Baltimore and Toronto last week? I know that the team has over achieved at least a little, but at some point you have to accept it as fact over a trend. Even last night I felt like Melvin out managed one of the best managers in the game in Joe Maddon. A big question I have is why doesn’t Cespedes get any love for helping turn this team around. Since he returned to the lineup on June 20th all he’s done is hit over .350 with 9 homers and 30 RBI’s. I get it, Trout is the MVP and ROY, but it seems like Cespedes should be getting more press than he is. Especially with the A’s sitting a half game ahead of the Angels in the standings, and a HUGE reason for that has been because of Cespedes’s play.

Quick side tangent, if the A’s, Rangers, and Angels all make the playoffs it will be the first and only time 75% of a division makes the playoffs. The reason it would be the only time is because of the addition of the 2nd wild card and the Astros will be joining the AL West next year, which will make it impossible to happen again.


Pump It Good

A friend of mine e-mailed me this little video today. Anytime you can combine the public with an innocent situation that looks like a dirty action it’s always going to be a recipe for entertainment.


Summer League Top Plays

Not sure why, but I can’t seem to get into Team USA hoops this time around. I was into the construction of the roster, but when they started playing the games I lost interest. The whole are they as good as the 1992 Dream Team is nuts, so much so I won’t even give it any more words besides saying that’s a joke. I came across this top 10 plays of the summer league today, and figured why not post it for those hoops junkies out there. Plus, to my surprise Jeremy Tyler came in at #6, and for those of you that don’t know he’s been a mancrush of mine since the Warriors drafted him last year.


F*^%in A!!!

Who’s getting pied is THE question every home game.

It’s been forever since I’ve written a post. I don’t really have a good excuse except that maybe I was a little depressed that all three of my Oakland teams might soon leave the city that I’ve always rooted for. I won’t be mad if they stay in the Bay Area, but that’s far from guaranteed. It’s not that I haven’t been watching sports, but my week off from the blog turned into two, then two months, then four. If we actually have some readers out there still, I’m sorry! Maybe the A’s will get me rolling again now that I don’t have to talk about stadium situations and can talk about the awesomeness of the team.

By now you’ve probably at least heard of the A’s remarkable winning stretch in July, but it dates back to June 10th just after they lost 9 games in a row. At that point in the season I thought the A’s were done, I didn’t watch many games, but in the midst of a nine game losing streak who really does want to watch their team go through misery. Since June 10th, they’ve won 24 of 33 games, and moved into a tie for the second wild card spot and are only a half game behind the Angels in the AL West, after sweeping the Yankees in a four game series this weekend. Are they contenders? They’ve taken 5 of 6 from Texas this season, and won the series against the Yankees (the two best teams in baseball), so it’s not out of the question. It’s so crazy that every time the game is within a run or two going into the last couple innings, the team, the fans, and even the other team seems to feel like the A’s are going to win, and for this month plus run it’s happened nearly every time. They have 11 walk off hits from 11 different guys (None named Manny Ramierez who was supposedly a huge risk to sign). I don’t think they had 11 walk off wins in the past three years combined! Will they keep up this torrid pace? Probably not, but they’ve shown that they are going to make every team get all 27 outs every game, and can’t be counted out even when they’re down to their last strike. Since everyone has the stats I just regurgitated on the A’s I figured I’d go through their roster and let you know some interesting things about some of the seemingly 40 key contributors on the 25-man roster.

Yoenis Cespedes – If you haven’t heard about him by now, you must not watch baseball. I’ve heard a lot of comparisons of who he could be, and I’d pick Bo Jackson as my comparison. If Yo knew football, he could be a running back. Good thing they don’t play football in Cuba or he may never have made it onto the A’s roster. With him in the lineup the A’s are 38-24 without, 12-20. To say he makes a difference when he’s out there is the understatement of the post. Oh and he’s 18 for 38 with 4 homers during the last 9 games. There’s a ton of press out there on Trout being the MVP and ROY. Maybe there should be a little talk about Cespedes. After hitting .150 on breaking pitches before his hammy and hand injuries, he’s now hitting over .400 on breaking pitches since the injuries. I’d say Yo knows adjustments. To top it off, all the beat writers seem to think he’s a very nice guy.

Josh Reddick – It’s the first time we’ve had the 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup that A’s fans can be confident in for the last six years. Looking back, I can’t believe we had Suzuki as our clean up hitter for two years. While Reddick’s 21 homers has been very nice, he also leads the MLB in outfield assists with 9 showing off his arm. He seems to give the team the Nick Swisher mindset keeping everyone focused and loose at the same time, and is a true leader.

The Pen – Probably the most underrated part of this team. Once they got rid of Fuentes the bullpen seemingly has no holes. No doubt the starting pitching has been amazing, but the bullpen is also leading the AL in bullpen ERA, and has been a huge reason the A’s have the best team ERA in all of baseball.  Sean Doolittle was a highly touted first base prospect that switched to being a reliever less than a year ago. All he’s done is pitch lights out after flying through the minor leagues this season and continued that success on the big stage to the tune of nearly two K’s per inning. Ryan Cook, the A’s All-Star rookie was thought to be a throw in during the Cahill deal. He started his career with a 29 inning scoreless streak. Though he’s faltered a little lately, his 42 appearances have only yielded 8 total runs given up over 42 innings of work. Not bad for a throw in. Evan Scribner has quietly worked his way into the back end of the bullpen when they have a lead. He’s a waiver wire pick up from the Padres and keeps getting them out of tough situations when the starter hits that rare wall. Grant Balfour and the much maligned Jerry Blevins have been putting up zeros after a tough start to the season. One cool thing about their bullpen is that nearly every guy throws in the mid-90’s and has at least one nasty breaking pitch, which was even more of a reason to DFA Fuentes.

Jarrod Parker – What’s not to like about the Cahill deal? Parker seems like a better and cheaper pitcher than him, and we got our closer and back up catcher out of the deal as well. 12 of his 16 starts this season he’s given up two runs or less, and he’s still learning in his rookie season! One of those bad starts was when he had the flu as well, so that’s a high percentage of quality starts for even a veteran.

Tommy Milone – The first couple times I saw him pitch I wasn’t too sold, but 9 wins later and I’m a believer. Just like Parker, Milone has the ablilty to make his fastball come out of his hand the exact same way his change up comes out keeping hitters off balanced. They might square one up, but that’s just because they guessed right. While Parker throws quite a bit harder, they are like the lefty and righty versions of themselves.

Aussies in the Rotation – Travis Blackley was cut by the Giants, and the A’s promptly swooped him up and threw him into some starts when the always injured Brandon McCarthy was on the DL. He didn’t pile on wins, but for a waiver wire pickup he’s posted a nice 3.36 ERA. Blackley has pitched all over the world and has taken advantage of his chance to shine in the A’s rotation in what was possibly his last shot in the big leagues. AJ Griffin, the third Aussie pitcher on the team, was the A’s 13th round 2010 pick. All he’s done is go 2-0 pitching into the 6th in every start with a 2.72 ERA.  Not sure if either will still be in the rotation when/if McCarthy ever is healthy and with the return of Brett Anderson looming, but I’m a fan of both these guys.

1B Platoon – To say I was happy when they finally sent Barton down to AAA for good doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about him. The Brandon Moss and Chris Carter platoon is working beautifully over the last month. A position that the A’s have had a tough time filling seemingly since Giambi left, they finally seem to have a good situation going. I’ll credit Melvin for putting them into good positions, because they both play a decent amount, and both seem to produce when they’re in there. They are two of the eleven walk off heroes.

Actually have power – Between Brandon Inge, Seth Smith, the 1B platoon, and Johnny Gomes they finally have players that can hit the ball out of the park outside their 3-4 hitters. When Inge hits another one, they’ll have six players with 10 or more homers. That hasn’t happened for them in a season for years let alone 2/3 of the way through one. For those of you that still think Billy Beane only cares about OBP, think again, he’s shifted to a less patient squad that hits the long ball over taking a bunch of walks. They are aggressive early in the count and often if they see a pitch they like.

Bob Melvin – He might be the manager of the year. Every button he pushes seems to work out well. His spring training mantra of running out every play has kept them all hustling on every play. He’s been part of winning teams before and knows how to motivate these guys even when everyone picked them to finish last in the division. Since he took over last year it looks like the players are having fun out there instead of when Boob Geren was just having them go through the motions, and even admitted to not knowing how to do a double switch.

The Lowlights – Jemile Weeks shows a flash or two of last season, but then promptly goes back into a slump. He hasn’t looked very patient at the plate swinging at a lot of bad pitches. Coco would be on this list with him, but he’s picked it up lately including his walk off hit yesterday. Kurt Suzuki has been a huge disappointment this year. He has been hurt, but if you can’t contribute anything on offense, I’ll take my chances with a rookie at catcher. He finally hit his first homer of the season, so maybe this will get him turned around. Cliff Pennington’s average fell off a cliff this year. Like Suzuki maybe he’s been injured since he just went on the DL, but his offensive production hitting under .200 with no significant signs of improvement make that the position most likely in need of an upgrade.


The Shoes

I’m not sure why, but I love to watch good NBA montages like the Warriors “Live Forever” one I posted awhile back. Maybe it’s because baseball ones aren’t that exciting, and football is too brutal of a sport to make a artistic montage. Anyways, it always makes it better when it’s paired with a quality song to boot. I guess this was made way back in July when the lockout was still going on, but honestly, I’m not sure what this really has to do with the lockout. It also reminded me that I never had the “cool” shoes growing up…


Flop of the Year

I’m not sure how long this video has been circulating, but it gave me a good laugh just now. It’s like one of those wrestling punches that completely misses and the guy still falls down, but this was even more obvious than even those fake punches. It looks like Mick Pinnisi needs to take a class in the Divac School of Flop pronto.


Boo’s, Sapp, and Bounty

BOOOO – Not sure why, but booing the Warriors owner on Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement night got a TON of media attention. When I watched it live, I honestly didn’t think much of it. I thought it was a little excessive in that, the only things Lacob has done wrong is make too many promises to a fanbase that has been through a lot empty promises by management. If you don’t believe me, then read Simmons article on the most tortured fans in the NBA. Honestly if I was there, I would’ve booed him. Some were booing because of the Monta trade, but I’d boo because they didn’t amnesty Biendris, who we all knew wasn’t good based on his last two seasons, and ended up wasting the amnesty on Charlie Bell’s expiring contract. For all those saying it was disrespectful and ruined Mullin’s night, I’ll bet you anything Mulley was on the fans side at one point, but he’s too classy to boo. Especially when he was run out of Oakland by the previous owner as a thank you for building the We Believe team, and trying hard to keep Baron Davis. Joe Lacob made a round of media appearances in the Bay Area the day after the booing. He swung and missed on his explanations too. For some reason he still says they’re a playoff team this year, c’mon man, you can’t truly believe that, I didn’t before the season and definitely don’t now, we’re not stupid even if we do fill a stadium for a team that has a 30% winning percentage. He also contradicted himself by saying he might boo himself too, but probably not. He also pronounced the fan-favorite Monta Ellis’s name wrong twice in this interview. He said Mon(TUH), not Mon(TAY) like it’s really pronounced. Did he even know his best players name that they traded away? He doesn’t seem to understand the fans frustrations, and he’s not like Mark Cuban even though he seems to be trying to be. I know it’s going to take some time for the ownership group to figure it all out and distance themselves from the Cohan era, so hopefully this teaches him a valuable lesson. Maybe he should take a page out of Jed York’s playbook and stop making silly predictions and just lay low letting the team and the staff they put together do their thing until they start winning. Since Jed let the powers he put in charge do their thing, the 49ers sure have turned it around, maybe the same will happen for the Warriors.

Snitches – Warren Sapp tweeted out that Jeremy Shockey was the “snitch” for the whole Bounty gate thing in New Orleans. Shockey responded with an angry denial. It’ no secret Sapp was one of my least favorite Raiders and is in the Jamarcus category on the all-time hate list. If he’s as lazy as he was while wearing the Silver and Black as he is with his reporting I’m already siding with Shockey, and that was before I saw that Shockey said he’d take a polygraph to clear his name. Sapp is also one of my least favorite NFL announcers. I’d rather listen to Shaq’s NBA analysis, than Sapp’s NFL take. I truly hope he gets fired for making this type of claim without stating any kind of evidence. It’s sad how much of an attention whore he is.

As for Bounty Gate itself, I guess it was a fair penalty. Goodell plays the role of father figure to the NFL, and just like when you lied to your parents as a kid, the penalty gets twice as bad when you get caught. I’m not sure I agree with taking away a bunch of draft picks though. Seems like missing their coach for the year is enough in my book. I had an interesting conversation with some Raiders fans and if something happened to them similar to what happened to the Saints. Can you say DEATH PENALTY!?! I bet they’d either be contracted or lose every first round pick for the next decade that they didn’t already trade away, and unfortunately Al Davis wouldn’t be around to sue the pants off the league.


Adios Mississippi Missile

I haven’t written about the Warriors all year, because like the old saying goes, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. When Mark Jackson and the W’s front office promised the playoffs at the beginning of the year, I thought whoa, easy on the promises, do they know what franchise this is?!? I actually wanted them to stand pat this year and see what they have instead of making a hasty trade for Dwight when he said wasn’t going to stay in the Bay Area. Fortunately they didn’t gut the team for him, because I feel like they have a solid core of young players (4th youngest team in the league). Unsurprisingly, they haven’t looked like a playoff team especially going 5-10 in games that were decided by 3 points or less. Regardless of what they have or haven’t done this year it’s culminated in the biggest trade of the seemingly not so interesting trading deadline this year. Shortly after hearing about the Warriors trading Monta, Udoh, and Kwame for Bogut and Jackson I was admittedly mad. I chewed on it for a little while, digested it, slept on it, now I’m ready to poo out my real thoughts on the trade.

Monta Ellis – I think the only reason I was mad is because Monta was the only one on the team that makes those exciting hold your breathe types of plays on the team. Unless you count every time Curry makes a cut on his seemingly always broken ankles. Every year Ellis has been in the NBA he’s gotten better, and added something to his game. He will be greatly missed in Warriorland, and I want to thank him for all the highlight reels and game winners he made for us. I’ve always felt he should get more calls from the refs than he does, but he’s so quick maybe the refs can’t see the contact. He also should’ve been an All-Star at some point, but now that he’s in the East maybe that will finally happen. The most exciting part about him leaving this year is going to be seeing what rookie Klay Thompson can do. He’s already looked great in the limited minutes he’s been on the floor, but being Monta’s backup doesn’t really get you that many minutes. Now with a full time run, we’ll get to see what kind of shooting guard we drafted, and if he is indeed the all around player we think he can be.

An Actual Bold Move for Basketball Reasons – I think the part that riled me up a lot yesterday was that we put Udoh in the trade, and got back Stephen Jackson instead of someone useful like say Ersan Ilyasova.  Udoh was finally healthy and showing the promise that made the Warriors pick him in the draft two years ago, but if that was the breaking point for the deal then I’m okay with it, because it’s a bold shake up. For first time in a long time, it’s clear the Warriors have a direction. They’re usually stuck in suck mode, but not sucky enough to get a good draft pick or make the playoffs. I’m actually for them sucking the rest of this season, because in this lockout shortened back to back game fest, I didn’t see them coming out of it well. If that meant trading away our biggest trade chip for a true center that the Warriors haven’t had on their roster since before I was born, so be it. This might be one of the first times I’ve been impressed with the new owners. They made a move that wasn’t fan popular (trading away the most popular player doesn’t usually get a good reaction from fans), isn’t a PR move, it’s not payroll/cap driven, and it definitely wasn’t ticket sales driven, because who will really want to watch this team the rest of the way especially if they shut Curry down like they should. They delayed being any good the rest of this year to possibly be a lot better in the future with a much more traditional lineup. I can’t commend them enough after years of head-scratching trades whether it works out well or not. This trade hasn’t been positive yet, but you can tell they’re putting together some kind of plan, which is a first time since Mullin was our GM that it seemed like we have a plan. Plus, the value for Ellis wasn’t as high as Bay Area fans thought. Yes, he’s a great player, but sometimes he was a black hole, couldn’t guard bigger SG’s like Kobe, and being undersized isn’t overly attractive to every team.

Warriors New Frontline – I can confidently say David Lee has been more important than Monta this season, and probably more consistent on a nightly basis. Putting him next to a hopefully healthy Bogut gives them the frontline that can compete with the large frontcourts that every other team has in the west. It will also make Lee that much better not having to do all the scoring down low, and will also prevent him from having to guard centers half the time when Biendris is in his usual foul trouble. Then there’s the fact that we actually have a true center opposed to guys like Foyle, Dampier, and Biendris. Come to think of it, I can’t remember being excited about their center since Manute Bol was on the team. Bogut also gives them that defensive anchor that Mark Jackson really needs to have to make this a strong defensive team. I have to admit I did keep Bogut one year in my fantasy basketball league, so I fully understand his upside, especially being in his prime at 27 years of age, and they will have control over him for three years compared to Monta’s two years (Monta had said he’d probably exercise his players option after next year to become a free agent). Bogut just needs to stop having the freak accidents to make this trade worthwhile for the Warriors. I’m not sure we can truly evaluate the trade until we see him play next year, so the jury is still out. I was pretty happy to see how mad some of the Bucks fans are about losing Bogut in the trade.

They might be bad enough to keep their draft pick – This trade also gives the Warriors some hope of keeping their draft pick this year. If you didn’t know, the Warriors traded their first rounder in this years draft for Marcus Williams to NJ back in 2009, who played a whopping nine games for them. That pick was then traded to Utah in the Deron Williams deal. The only way they keep the draft pick is if they lose their way to the worst seven in the league, since the pick is top seven protected. If they do suck their way into keeping their pick, then it would roll over to the next years draft, where it’s only top 5 protected. Even if they are the 7th worst team, there’s no guarantee they’ll get the 7th pick because it seems like every year at least one team leap frogs them into the lottery, and pushes them back a pick. They’re already better than a lot of the Eastern Confrences bottom feeders, so one can only hope. Despite last nights trade inspired performance from the Dubstitutes, they only beat Sacramento team that is just plain bad this year. I’m sure with one of the toughest schedules left in the league (something like 11 or 12 back to backs left) they will have a prolonged losing streak giving them a shot at keeping their draft pick, and at the same time get a good look at their young players. My hope now is they just let Curry rest so he doesn’t keep re-injuring those ankles, and lose their way to keep their draft pick.

Stephen Jackson is back – I have a hard time seeing where Jackson fits into the Warriors roster at the moment, but Dorrell Wright has been a disappointment this year. He was a cancer towards the end of his Warriors days, but maybe after getting out of Milwaukee with a coach he couldn’t stand will get his head right. Plus, he did give us Warriors fans a lot of good memories in a franchise that produces few. I thought they might try to flip him right away for something more constructive to the future of the team, but it sounds like it takes 48 hours for the trade and physicals to go through, so that will be after the trade deadline passes, unless he reports early, which I don’t see happening. I’ve read they’ll either trade him after the season or buy him out when the season is over. If that doesn’t happen at least Jack will eat up some salary cap so they don’t make a ridiculous offer to some free agent this off-season. I also wouldn’t mind holding onto Jack next year when he’s in a contract year with something to prove, so he can get paid. I’m just glad Rowell isn’t around to negotiate a new contract with him or we’d probably end up with Jack until 2020 at $10M per year hoping for We Believe 2.0.


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