1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “Angels-Pitching-Help Wanted”

Posted by on February 23rd, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Angels-Pitching Staff-Help Wanted”

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Baseball’s attention this weekend will likely be focused on Diablo Stadium in Tempe, where the Angels face Milwaukee on a Cactus League exhibition game.

Why? The debut of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani, painted in some corners, as the next Babe Ruth.

That’s an awful lot to say considering he has never thrown an inning on a mound in the US, has never taken a pitch as a DH.

Ohtani, the 100-mile an hour fastball pitcher, and the legendary (.330) hitter with home run power, will begin his trek in Halo Red as a 2-position player. With him, in addition to his credentials, comes enormous expectation that this 6’4 phenom will be something special here, just like he was with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Might he be the best of the best Japan has ever sent us?

In recent years, Japan has delivered us a likely Hall of Famer in Ichuro Suzuki, who debuted and starred for so long with the Mariners. Pitcher Yu Darvish came here to Texas, and just signed a big money deal with the Cubs. We remember Dice Matuzaka, Hidecki Matsui, and long ago the likes of Hideo Nomo and more.

But Ohtani is so diverse, so dynamic, so talented, and he has yet to play in a game.

The Angels have openly said they have configured a formula as to how to use Ohtani, as part of a 6-man pitching rotation., and then let him DH on some of the off-days he is not pitching. That means aging and ailing Albert Pujols will have to play more first base than he has in recent years.

The other stress point will be the rest of the rotation, all talented, and virtually all who have had major health problems.

On paper, Garrett Richards has all the makings of an ace, and a big front of the rotation guy.

Matt Shoemaker has shown flashes of spectacular stuff. Andrew Heaney was so highly rated as a prospect. Tyler Skaggs has been penciled in for a couple of years as a rotation guiy. Parker Bridwell pitched well last year when needed to much. Nick Tropeano and JC Ramirez have had opportunities in the past.

You may say strength in numbers, 7-established major league starters, to front and back and put aroud Ohtani.

Sounds good except for one thing. 6-of-those 7 have had major arm issues, with only Bridwell the only one not to spend time on a disabled list, or on an operating table.

Shoulders, rotator cuffs, capsules, elbow ligaments, forearms, flexor tendons. Those are the words linked to Richards, thru Shoemaker, all the way to Ramirez.

A 6-man rotation sounds sexy as a way to protect the huge investment in Ohtani, but if you go with six, that means they have to be productive and go deeper into games, because it probably means you may have fewer people in the bullpen.

And the Angels bullpen has been a triage unit too, with the end of the run to closer Huston Street, the injuries to Cam Bedrosian, and a whole sort of other physical ills, to the rest of the bullpen brigade.

What a 5-weeks the Halos have in front of them, to sort out this pitching, to chart the health of the once ailing arms, and come up with the right formula work-schedule for their next designated superstar, where many hope Ohtani becomes the equivalent of Mike Trout.

Manager Mike Scoscia is starting his 19th year in that Halos dugout. He’s probably seen everything there is to be seen in baseball, as a catcher, now as a bench boss.

Bet he’s never seen this challenge…7-pitchers, 1-raw rookie star, 6-who need special handling.

Scoscia may be old school, but he may need new breed calculus to figure out who goes where, and how healthy can they stay as we go towards Angels opening day.

They could be great, but they could also all get hurt again, thus the ‘Help Wanted’ sign hanging next to ‘Game Today’ sign hanging outside Diablo Stadium in Tempe.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Lots of Stories-Lots of Takes”

Posted by on February 22nd, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Lots of Stories-Lots of Takes”

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When you compete…you have good days…bad days. Your stories get covered and people express opinions.

Some on the mark-some terribly off.

ERIC HOSMER…Many believe this was a great acquisition by the Padres, but some analytics say the price tag paid was excessive. People do believe he will produce for the Padres, and many believe Hosmer will have a very positive effect on streaky Will Myers, veteran Chase Headley and the overwhelmed rookie Hunter Renfrone. Who knows but we know how the Royals lineup come together as Hosmer grew up alongside Sal Perez-Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon.

SEBASTIEN JANIKOWSKI….Unless he has physically broken down at age 40, back issues hurt him last year, the Chargers need to take a look at the longtime Raiders kicker. The Bolts had to use 5-ickers last year because of injury-inefficiency.

MARK CUBAN….A bad season, this Dallas Mavericks are (18-40), was followed by a 600,000-fine by the NBA for saying his team would intentionally tank the rest of the season, and now the revelation that an Animal House culture existed for 6-years in his front office. 7-women employees went public attacking the fact the CEO was allowed to go unchecked in all types of work place sexual harassment.

RICK PITINO…Speaking of bad weeks, Louisville got nailed again by the NCAA, in the aftermath of all the scandals involving the Cardinals hoops program under Rick Pitino. The Adidas slush fund scandal….the Sex Party Recruiting scandal led by an assistant coach and of course Piton’s own adulterous scandal incident in a restaurant. He’s not guilty of any of this, so he says, but he won’t have to worry about telling any future employer about all his issues at U-of-L. He won’t get another job interview. His program, it happened on his watch.

TAMPA BAY-MIAMI….Commissioner Rob Manfred can say all he wants about his belief the Marlins and Rays will bounce back in the future, but there will be a lot of pain between now, and that point down the road. The Marlins dealt away 4-keiy players, got 13-prospects in return. Tampa Bay just dealt 3-top veterans, and got 8-prospects in return. Low payrolls this year, likely 100-losses in both cities.

GULLS….The AHL team has had a strong mid-winter surge, but now they may have to try to sprint to the finish line without their leading scorer, and maybe other players. it’s always great to see hot prospects from the Anaheim Ducks, but you are at their beck and call. They can pull your players at at any time because of injuries. They can also trade prospects to prop up the big club for the NHL playoff run. The Gulls lost 17-goal scorer Eric Fehr, when the Toronto Maple Leafs, who loaned him here, dealt him to San Jose. Earlier, the Gulls lost power forward Spencer Abbott, and now top young blue liner Marcus Pettersson has been recalled. Life in the AHL can be tough at times.

AZTECS…Yes they have had a mini hot spurt, ambushing teams at home, but the reality is, the Mountain West Conference tourney will be in Las Vegas, and when SDSU has had to play good teams on the road, they come home with losses. They’ll have to prove me wrong.

TOREROS…What a pleasant bounce back season for Lamont Smith, but they need more players. A redshirt class of big men this year, will join 3-established starters next year. Aside from the nice win against BYU, USD has not done much against the best teams in the WCC. Quality is still to be delivered.

JIMMIE JOHNSON…A bad day at the office, you bet. A bad week at Daytona. 3-wrecked cars in 3-races, the Clash..the Twin Qualifying race, and the 500. All this coming after a very disappointing second half of the season for NASCAR icon.

TIGER WOODS….Most everyone felt so positive after his season debut at Torrey Pines, though he had a wild round. But last weekend, it was even worse, terrible off the tee…worse with the putter on the green, an awful experience at the LA Open. On he goes to the Honda Classic.

TED LEGITY…Not a good week for the US’s top downhill skier, but a brilliant career. Age, 33, and injuries shadowed this what will be his final Olympiad. Not a disappointing week, but a great career.

LINDSEY VONN…Is going home with just one medal, but she has down so many great things in her ski career, we should remember her greatness over all these years, not just what happened this week. How unfair of the LA Times to write a headline ‘Over the Hill’ when you confer the major injuries she has come back from.

USA HOCKEY…A tough way to put a team together, using college players, and select journeyman from abroad, but USA held up well in the face of a couple of loaded teams. They wound up losing in the first round of medal play, but they got that far thanks to Harvard star Ryan Donato. But Russia got around the NHL ban, by using former NHL stars now in the KHL to fill their rosters.

USA HOCKEY….The Women’s program has grown and the rivalry with Canada, it is their game, they founded it, is fierce, The US women’s program has grown by leaps and bounds in just the last 5-years.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “Padres-Eric Hosmer Hits HR at Press Conference”

Posted by on February 21st, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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Padres-Eric Hosmer-Hits HR at Press Conference

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Padres….Eric Hosmer goes thru first workout with team after impressive press conference at spring training camp…Ready to play-assume leadership-take team to next level. Highlites fro opening press conference:

AJ Preller quotes
..Interviewed people coached him-played with him-played against him
..Alot of people behind the scenes gave us a lot of information behind the scenes
..Onership started 3-years ago started building a foundation-farm system
..We spent a record 100M in one year to layer in right players-pieces yearly
..Knew we would add free agent and trade pieces-now is the time
..Our plan will allow us to be successful for a long time
..Eric brings a lot to the table..2-way player
..Best around the bag-premium on being an athlete
..Best part of process-digging into the person-learning about him
..Show daily-passion for the game..love of game..the intellect..relates to people
..Example of what he did in Kansas City..young players come together
..Wanted guys who were short term fit and guys be good player for years
..This is not about 2020 to arrive-work everyday to get better every day
..Feel good about clubhouse..and about guys who are coming
..Visited with Eric in Florida and San Diego-wants to win every day
..This is big piece, stake in ground to accelerate the process of team growth
..Core group of Padres must come internally..at right time..add right piece in free agency
..We look at 1-year..3-year…5-year plans
..Right player-right contract-right time to sign this player
..Wil Myers came and said he was big Hosmer fan-would move back to outfield-that was big
..Eric loves coming to work-loves clubhouse-chemistry component-love for game-important factors

Eric Hosmer-quotes
..Have had great moments playing in San Diego
..Fun to see Padres vision-where lead young group of guys
..I did a lot of research of Padres organization-leadership
..Fun part was evaluating team here and team coming
..Impressed so many pitching prospects in farm system
..Excited to be in lockeroom-know players-help maximize their talent
..I grew up in game in baseball from 18years of age-became a man thru game
..Want to show these young guys the way it goes
..Leadership is important-guy been there…been with team got there
..Different relationship when you win a World Championship-best time of my life
..Royals taught me how to he best player-person-father
..Whole off season was to weigh options-like organization
..Took a lot of time to weigh Royals-Padres-Red Sox options-I enjoyed it
..Nothing changes with me because of money-my mentality is the same
..Fortunate to put uniform on every day-love of game-lead by example
..See lots similarities in San Diego when young guys turned Royals around
..In 2011-young guys called up…young players kept coming-came together
..Excited to be the veteran to lead the young guys thru the process
..8-year deal-wanted deal made sense for both team and player
..To win championship in Kansas City was amazing-what it means to city
..Live that moment-it drives you as a player
..Loved direction organization going…love people trying to climb the mountain
..Hardest part was process of free agency was so slow.
..Wanted to wear #30 in honor late Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura
..Petco Park likes me-All Star game-WBClassic-like environment
..Petco-ball jumps out now..become hitters park
..Scoreboard in Petco in leftfield-helps ball move
..Atmosphere when you win is so much fun

Owner Ron Fowler-quotes
..Eric Hosmer-checked off every box
..Prepared go after a player early-That’s how good we think he is

Scott Boras-quotes
..Organization a volcano of hot-talent lava
..Turn lava into rock is very hard to do-Padres can do this
..Eric Hosmer has been thru that in Kansas City-prospect into championship rock
..Give credit to AJ to learn about Eric-family-athlete
..Brings prestige to game..reward for his completeness as player
..Eric is example of why baseball needs to do more than just metrics
..Industry is changing right now-but industry revolves around talent
..Padres staff is driven towards competition…annually to be better
..Signing says a lot about of ownership and direction in San Diego

1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Do You Like Baseball Games at Petco Park?”

Posted by on February 20th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Do You Like Baseball Games at Petco Park”

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A leisurely night with guys or the family at Petco Park.

In recent years, sometimes the Padres win, sometimes they lose, but usually a night out at the yard is a pretty nice experience.

Petco Park is the shining crown jewel of downtown San Diego. Give thanks to John Moores-money, Larry Lucchino’s brilliance, and the current ownership of the Fowler-Siedler regime for all the upgrades.

Which leads us to the huge off season debate about the grand old game.

Are baseball games too long, or is there something special about a night of baseball in the Gaslamp District?

I guess if you are the Yankees or Red Sox, Dodgers or Cubs, being in the ball park is special.

But if you are the Royals-Pirates-Orioles-Padres and others, where losses have piled up, maybe the games are too long.

The Commissioner’s office has pushed for 3-years to change the chemistry of the game, alarmed by falling TV ratings, and incessant delays, that games had to speeded up.

Two years ago, they were able to push thru some ideas that umpires needed to better police the pace of the game.

They got games down to (2:56) in 20l16, but then in (2017), the games spilled over the 3-hour mark, up to (3:05). And in postseason, they went an alarmingly long (3:26).

In season is not thing, but post season carries so much more importance, you understand delays.

Game situations, pitching matchup, defensive alignments pitching changes, pinch-hitters, even instant replays, all pile up leading to lengthier games.

A lot is up on the umpires shoulders now, with what Rob Manfred and Tony Clark announced on Monday.

They had rules in place that were never followed, and I put that on MLB and the Umpires Association, for they didn’t police it properly.

MLB now says there will be only a (2:05) break between innings. The batter must be in the box at the (2:05) mark ready to get the first pitch, That pitcher must be on the rubber ready to deliver the pitch.

MLB will limit visits to the mound to just 6-per game, excluding pitching changes, this coming season. That includes manager, pitching coaches, catcher or position players.

In honor of the Mike Hargrove ‘Human Rain Delay’ era, where he had to step out of the box and adjust his batting gloves between each pitch, before he popped out, and in honor of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who went to the mound 12-times in a playoff game, this sounds all well and good.

There will be no (:20) pitch clock, though I think that should be in place, for it has worked in the minors, but that could be a year down the road.

Where MLB has missed the mark is enforcement. Batter in the box, cannot remove himself from the box to adjust his gloves, cannot step out to look for a sign. Pitchers should not be allowed to step off the rubber once they are on the hill.

I counted one Carlos Quentin at bat, where he stepped out 7-times to adjust his glove.

I counted a Rockies reliever, Rafael Betancourt, taking an average (32) seconds between each pitche to Padres hitter, just because three was a man on first base.

You cannot put rules in that impact strategy of the game, penalizing a team a ball or a strike. But there are ways to signal shifts in defense from the dugout. You can signal hit and run plays and pickup plays without multiple upon multiples stoppage in play.

The NFL has the play clock. The NBA has the shot clock. College basketball has its 10-second rule.

There are ways to quicken up the game, without changing the game.

Unless you feel there is nothing wrong with a 3-plus-hour game, drinking beer, eating hot dogs.

Give me that pitch clock…the Batters Box rule…add in the limited visits to the mound, and let’s get on with it….and the between innings breaks.

But it all involves one key component. Not the man in the dugout, Andy Green, or the guy on the mound Luis Perdomo, or the guy in the box Eric Hosmer.

It’s on the umpires to enforce the rules. It’s up to the players to follow the rules.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday. “Padres-Risk-vs-Reward-Is This Going to Work?”

Posted by on February 19th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Saturday Night Special-Padres-Risk-vs-Reward”

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Is this the beginning of the end af all the losing, or the beginning of a move that puts the rebuilding drive on a skid?

The Padres ownership has never been afraid to let General Manager AJ Preller make his player moves.

They let him take on a ton of contracts three years ago, Matt Kemp, James Shields, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton in all those trades..

Heavy money deals that nearly sank the franchise into Mission Bay.

They bought into his idea to rid the team of some substandard production, and pay people to take this same contracts he had acquired, Kemp, Shields, Upton and more.

They let him go wild in the International and Draft venus, signing a combined total of 91-players, spending 101M dollars over a two summer span, to rebuild the farm system, paying all that tax money to get these kids..

And they agreed to a massive 8-year-144M contract, with 5-years of no trade clauses, and an opt out after the 5th yearn outbidding the Royals for their All Star first baseman Eric Hosmer.

They get production, they get a Gold Glove, they get a clubhouse leader who also speaks Spanish, they get a guy committed to the team and who has committed to the cities he has lived in.

In Kansas City they are grieving the loss of a cornerstone player and person. But he leaves to some criticism, that it was too much money, 21M a year for the first five years, for a guy who has had good seasons then off seasons.

Homer comes to San Diego and makes the everyday lineup and the hitters around him much better.

Put Hosmer in the middle of a lineup, next to Chase Headley, Will Myers, Manny Margot, the developing Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, Freddy Galvis, and the Padres suddenly have a bunch of guys who have proven they can hit and help a team over a 162-game schedule.

The quotes from those complimenting him in Kansas City are numerous:
..Exemplary teammate-embraced his city.
..He was a big stage-big movement player.
..Every player should do what Hosmer did for his team-his city.
..Good player-good clubhouse guy-we have good culture.

But there have been negatives too:
..Check his WAR stats over his career
..Good season-bad season-Good season-bad season
..Ground ball hitting 1st baseman
..Every other year type of guy
..Most inexplicable move of offseason.
..Overpaid-grossly overpaid for inconsistent career.

Three years ago this week, so much excitement when the Padres opened their camp with those newcomers, who didn’t work out, didn’t have good attitudes, and left a mess behind.,

This is a bold move as Hosmer comes to the Padres camp from up the road in Surprise, Arizona.

The franchise has pushed its payroll to about 90M with this deal, and they are spent out. His arrival does not guarantee they’ll be more than a .500-team, because their pitching is so weak.

And understand, because they overspent so much with their International budget, they will be very limited, almost non existent for the next three years, bidding on whatever the next germination of Cubans and Dominicans become available, limited to what bonus money they can pay..

This team will be fun to watch at bat, fun to watch run the bases, and will work hard. That is the chemistry of what is on the roster.

But sometimes if you think deeply, you remember the wild amount of money the Angels gave Moe Vaughn, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, or the Red Sox investment in Carl Crawford. There is a fear factor to be considered. There is history of what happened with long term contract to players at their peak of their careers, who break down, or don’t produce after their arrival.

They better hope everyone of theses young arms they have paid for, pan out, get here soon, and get here healthy. Otherwise what they spent on Hosmer will go to waste, and they won’t have money left in the checking account to guy buy more players, if these kids don’t work out.

But for the first time in a long time, they convinced a marquee free agent to accept their offer, and come to San Diego. They couldn’t with Shohei Ohtani, Yasiel Puig, Masahario Tanaka and a whole bunch others.

On paper, these guys have had special seasons. But there has also been a streak of inconsistency, not just with Hosmer, but Headley and Renfroe. That’s 45M worth of this year’s payroll you hope has a hot season, not a down season.

This is either the beginning of the end of all the Padres losing for a decade, or this is the beginning of the skid if Hosmer can’t be a superstar, and the young talent doesn’t pan out.

Ownership has believed in AJ Preller. We’ll see next if Premolar’s beliefs pan out.

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