Daily Archives: February 22, 2010

Future RFP Of The Day: Adam Morrison

Some day, kids are going to look at this and say, "he played in the 2000s?! No way, I thought he played in the 1970s!"

I am not an Adam Morrison hater. Nor am I a Gonzaga fan. These are the two things you need to know first, otherwise you’d assume the opposite. The title might also be a bit misleading, as it may suggest this is gonna be a kick-Adam-Morrison-while-he’s-down party. I don’t like Adam Morrison, but I don’t not like him. I never rooted for him, but I also never really rooted against him. Well, no more than I would any player playing against my team. See, my Adam Morrison story goes back further than most’s. I’ve more or less watched his career every step of the way. Although of late, like with any sitcom that’s run its course , there’s just not much new going on. Much like Head of the Class, you don’t really see a lot of him on TV anymore. But when you think about it, that’s what RFPs really are. Players and shows you used to like watching as a kid, but now they’re nothing more than a once-every-9-years blip on your life’s radar. It’s not a flattering distinction, but it’s not the worst either. I’ll be damned if I didn’t respect each and every one of those guys I’ve featured in an RFP of the Day.

The pilot episode of my Adam Morrison saga was in the beginning of 2004. I was playing (not ball) at USF and he was a freshman at Gonzaga. The Zags were continuing their rise to the upper echelon of college basketball, and the Dons were continuing their decline to the outer realms of relevance. Gonzaga was making their annual visit to the Hilltop in San Francisco, led by Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp, and Corey Violette. They also had a new freshman on the team, who came pretty highly touted. In front of a sellout crowd at War Memorial Gym, the game went down to the final possession. With the game tied at 63, the Dons had an opportunity at the last shot. When their game winning attempt rimmed off, JP Batista grabbed the rebound, outletted to the freshman with the buzz cut, and Adam Morrison pulled up just in front of the half court line and buried a 40 footer at the horn that silenced the crowd and sent the Zags home with a 66-63 win. (Editor’s Note: I have since learned that none of this ever happened. I combed the annals of the WCC  and could not find a box score to validate this story. But I have believed it to be truth for the last 6 years, so I’m leaving it. -mc)

The following season – or so I thought, my memory’s credibility is completely shot at this point – Gonzaga returned to the City, this time with Morrison as the man. They still had Turiaf, and Derek Raivio had emerged into a star player as well. Unbeknownst to me, ESPN was in the building filming for the original series, The Season. The show seemed more focused around Morrison than the rest of the team, or at least in this episode. I’m sure it was the only one I ever watched. But in this particular episode, it was highlight after highlight of Morrison, and every highlight showed the same skinny guy in a green Keyshawn Johnson jersey standing courtside. Morrison went for 30+ that night, and every one of those shots was recorded on video with me in the background. I hated being associated with that. The closeup of me in the crowd on Wheel of Fortune? No complaints. But broadcasting Adam Morrison propaganda to the entire world with my face as an accessory? I don’t want that burden. (Editor’s Note: Naturally I was unable to find this video anywhere. If anyone knows how or where to find it, let me know.)

Picture was taken in 2014, during Morrison's first game back in Charlotte after being traded for Jerry Stackhouse and DJ Augustin's expiring contract.

So, now that the Adam Morrison show has long been removed from primetime and we all know what’s happened since, I hereby declare him the First Ever FUTURE RFP OF THE DAY. He did me wrong on the first night we met, when he may or may not have hit a game winner to beat my school. He also dragged me along on his traveling soap opera when I was in the background of every highlight that ESPN may or may not aired. He deserves to be random and forgotten for that.  Fifteen years from now, some kid who’s in 2nd grade right now will blog something to the tune of, “Hey, remember Adam Morrison? He’s random and forgotten. Member his hair and mustache? Member when he was good? Blah blah blah.” Well this is the prelude to that post. This is my Nostradamus prediction (insert ‘of the week’ for recurring blog feature idea), that this man, here’s a man, who may end up being best known for crying at the end of a game, but here’s a man…. Well, he’s just the man for his place and time. The random, forgotten, mustache having, Head of the Class watching man.

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Is the AL West the Best Division in Baseball?

I guess it might be a stretch, since none of the four teams residing in the AL West are truly considered a threat to knock the Yankees off their thrown, but is there really anyone that looks like they can derail the Yankees besides injuries? I don’t think so… Can you name the only division that had three teams finish the season with 85 wins? Surprisingly, it’s the AL West! Sure you can argue that the AL East had three 84 win teams, but the basement is a lot worse than it is in the West.

The Yankees have pushed over the $1 billion mark in payroll a long time ago, and the Red Sox aren’t all that far behind, so we’ve been trained to see the East as far superior. Surprisingly the AL West had a great record versus the East going 95-79 in 2009. I think the best team in the West (Angels) regressed a little over the off-season losing their horse/ace in Lackey, and their versatile infielder Figgins, and that has put the division up for grabs.

I felt that Seattle made the biggest push to be a force in the west by trading for a bonafied yearly Cy Young contender, Cliff Lee, and last year’s runner up Felix Hernandez was already there setting up one of the deadliest duos in the league. They also stole Figgins away from the Angels, which should get them two guys on base if Ichiro and Figgy are hitting one and two. Milton might be able to knock them in if he’s on the field for more than 80 games, but that’s a big IF.

The Rangers bolstered their roster, but there are question marks already on the health of the players they signed. Vlad seems past his prime, but if he can be productive anywhere, it’s going to be in Arlington where careers being revived happens. They also signed the often injured Rich Harden, which could be a boost if they have a plan b for all the starts he gets scratched from each year. They were in the race for the West crown up to the last couple weeks, and have a ton of young talent that will only be better this coming season. It seems like a lot of the experts are picking them to win the west this year, but those predictions don’t seem to have much confidence behind them.

I’ll do my A’s preview a little closer to the season when I’ve gathered all my expectations of them, but honestly, all I’m hoping for from them is to stay healthy for once. We’ve used the DL more over the past two years than anytime in franchise history, and broke records two straight years in a row for DL usage. Not a good stat for a young team trying to figure out what pieces go where, and far from a recipe for success! Not sure about the offense, but the pitchers must be happy to have a true ace on the staff in Sheets. They owned a better run differential than Seattle last year, so there’s some hope!

All in all, I’d say the top teams of the AL West aren’t as good as the AL East. From top to bottom though, the West has teams that will be able to pull out wins night in and night out. You know you aren’t getting that from Toronto or Baltimore, who have both probably already given up on this year. I’d say that one distinct advantage that the West has over the East is in the farm systems. The East gets better through buying free agents that most of the time we can’t afford, and the West gets better by building up their prospects from within. I’m pretty pumped to see how it all shakes out, and one thing is for sure, the West is up for grabs this year with none of the teams completely out of the picture. Can’t say the same for the AL East.

What really defines the best division in baseball? The degree of difficulty? The balance from top to bottom? General intrigue?

Maybe I’ve been worn down from all the northeastern hype, and the YES network, but I believe there’s a solid argument that the west is the “best” division in baseball!