1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “NBA-NHL-Not a Bad 24-Hours”

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

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“NBA-NHL Draft-Not a Bad 24-Hours”

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You have to be a real sports junkie, and I am, to cover all this, based out of San Diego, but I like to cover it all.

What a present, the NBA draft on Thursday night, and here comes the NHL draft on Friday night.

(Basketball)

They drafted big and they drafted really young in the opening round of the Thursday night draft.

That’s what the NBA has become with the overwhelming of 1 & Done players pouring into the draft from college. Once upon a time the NBA was all about great guard play. Now it’s bigs, who can run.

The woeful Phoenix Suns got a home grown talent in Arizona center DeAndre Ayton, the best big man in the Pac 12-conference. They also added shooting forward Mikail Bridges, a shooting talent from Villanova, so they have really added something around young star guard Devin Booker.

Sacramento, forever a loser, will bring in Duke’s freshman sensation Marvin Bagley.

Dallas, which has fallen on hard times, thinks it has another Dirk Nowitzki in drafted Serbian shower Luka Doncic.

Atlanta wound up with multiple picks, and might have had the best night of anyone, in Oklahoma’s high scoring guard Trae Young, followed by Maryland’s 3-point shooter Kevin Hurter.

There were other picks met with mixed reaction. Knicks fans booed the choice of Kentucky shooting forward Kevin Knox, but these are the same people who booed Kristaps Porzingas a couple of years ago, now their hero-leading scorer.

It might have been a good night too for the LA Clippers, getting a whole new backcourt, in Kentucky’s 6’6 point guard Shai Alexander, and then Boston College’s explosive shooting guard Jerome Robinson.

For the Lakers, it was a tough 24-hours. Firstly, they were rebuffed in trade talks with San Antonio for forward Kawhi Leonard, who is not going to be dealt to anyone in the Western Conference. Then 2-shooters they targeted in the draft, went off the board before their pick came up at #25. Atlanta grabbed the 3-point shooter LA liked, in Kenin Hurter, then Utah stepped in and took Duke shooter Grayson Allen.

The Lakers went big finally with their pick, in tabbing Michigan’s warrior forward center Moritz Wagner, their NCAA tourney hero, but there are doubts about his quickness to play at the next level at 6’11.

The biggest disappointment had to be in Missouri’s outstanding 6’10-forward Michael Porter, who missed virtually the entire season with back surgery. He stayed on the board till the Denver Nuggets pick at #14, after many thought he could be a top 3-picks. Only time will tell with they gambled or got a great one.

Virtually all players taken in the second round, don’t get guaranteed contracts, and wind up in the NBA-G League.

Next up, hoops free agency and the decisions on LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

(Hockey)

The NHL draft began in 1963, and it gave us great players.

For every Guy Lafleur, Sidney Crosby , Mike Modano and Vinny Lecavalier, there have been monumental busts.

Hockey purists know the names Alexander Dangle, Patrick Stefan, Nail Yakopov and more, who buried Ottawa, Carolina, Edmonton when they bombed after being taken so high.

And that’s not to mention Montreal’s Robin Sadler, a first round pick, who then informed the Canadiens, he did not want to play hockey anymore.

The Friday draft is loaded with defenseman, and overwhelmed by players from Europe. The NHL draft has become a huge crapshoot, taking 18-year olds, hoping they develop in the junior leagues, at the NCAA level, or leaving them in Europe another year or two.

Buffalo will have the first pick and will take Swedish blue liner Rasmus Dahlin, and Carolina will try to get it right with a Russian winger Andre .Svechnikov, who scored 40-goals in junior hockey.

But after that, who knows. Montreal might takes Quebec Junior League scoring star Filip Zadina, who potted 45-goals from Halifax, but who knows if he is big enough, tough enough, to be a difference maker in the NHL.

And Brady Tkachuk from Boston University could go 4th, the son of the longtime Ranger Brad, but he scored just 8-goals in college last year and could ge years away.

There are no instant Alexander Ovechkin’s nor Eric Lindross’ in this draft. The NHL has become more ‘pick and hope and wait’, rather than select and win now.

An interesting two days in sports with these drafts. Awful young, both in hoops and puck.

Fun to observe, but but impossible to predict. Sports version of Russian Roulette.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “NBA Draft-Overtaken by Free Agency”

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

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“NBA Draft-Dwarfed by Free Agency”

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The NBA holds its college draft this evening.

Once upon a time it was special, but now, the ‘1-and-Done’ rule in college athletics has eroded the quality of the draft.

Every 19-year old, from Bill Willoughby, back in the day, to the modern day Lonzo Ball, pours into the NBA draft yearly, looking for a big payday, and hoping to jump-start careers.

The NBA draft has become a terrible crapshoot. Young players, unprepared for the grind of pro basketball, not ready for the emotional leap into maturity, ill prepared to handle the kind of money handed out to pick. A lot of underachieving players.

It’s become a mess, and until Adam Silver, the NBA boss, and the Union, and the NCAA work out a better deal, more and more under-prepared players will fail.

The poster boy for the modern day draft, UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, was the 1st pick a couple of years ago, by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Out of the NBA in less than 24-months, he is an example of what has befallen the NBA draft.

And you thought the days of controversy, who gets access to Patrick Ewing, or Ralph Sampson, were going to overwhelm the league and its credibility.

But we get a break this week from the calamity that the draft has become.

Instead we wait to see where the next two superstars are going, in attempts to build the next superstar team.

LeBron James and Kawahi Leonard appear headed elsewhere.

James can opt out of his 26M Cleveland Cavaliers contract in the next two weeks, setting off a big bidding war for his free agent services.

Leonard, a year away from free agency, reportedly wants to be traded, and to a team of his choice, or else San Antonio would lose him and get nothing in return a year from today.

The Lakers and Clippers are viable landing places for James, once he goes on the open market.

Leonard wants to play for the Lakers, but San Antonio controls his destination, in a potential trade, and it might be hard to think the Spurs would ship him to a Western Division team they’d have to beat to get into the playoffs. He might wind up in Boston or Philadelphia.

Adding to the intrigue is the year long struggle Leonard had coming back from a quad injury, the starts and stops of all his rehab, and the question behind the curtain, can he stay healthy, and can you invest a monster amount of money in him with this health question? .

So we have intrigue everywhere, not so much about the 18-19 year olds in the draft, but what King James and Kawhi are about to do.

The NBA has problems, but for a week or so, free agency and impending trades, will be front and center for the fans. No one is interested in another conversation about the next Anthony Bennett type player.

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1-Man’s of Opinion-Wednesday “50-Years Ago-A Horrible Summer”

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

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“50 Years Later-Awful Memories”….

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1968 was a long time ago. 1-long hot summer.

I was in the beginning stages of my radio career, working at a 1,000-watt AM station in Appalachia.

I remember standing on the street corner one hot afternoon, talking to the President of Logan Federal Savings & Loan, in that tiny Southeast Ohio community, and distinctly saying, ‘what is happening to our country?’

…It was 1968, and Denny McLain was on his way to a 30-win season on the mound, pitching his Detroit Tigers to the World Series victory over the Cardinals.

It was the summer of the death of Martin Luther King in Memphis, that led to rioting everywhere.

…The Green Bay Packers would win the Super Bowl against the Raiders .

They would burn Oakland, Watts, East Cleveland, Harlem, Detroit and so many other cities.

…UCLA won another NCAA basketball title for John Wooden in the aftermath of the Lew Alcindor-Bill Walton-Swen Nater eras.

Bobby Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles after winning the California primary.

…The Kansas City A’s franchise, bought by Charley Finley, moved to Oakland.

The Democratic convention became a blood bath with anti-war protesters, the SDS, the police, federal troops.

…Minnesota North Star forward Bill Masterson died from a fractured skull suffered on a fall on the ice during a game.

America, fascinated by the race to space, watched as Jim Lovell and his crew board Apollo 8-and orbit the earth.

…Lee Trevino and Gary Player won the US and British Open golf tourneys.

The Vietnam war raged, body counts, then and ours, were always the lead story, and people raged at the White House as America brought home its dead for burial.

…Rod Laver and Billy Jean King won at Wimbledon.

The names Bobby Seale, H-Rap Brown and Eldridge Cleaver were in the news everywhere.

…The Mexico City Olympics became the sight of the Black Power salute by sprinters John Carlos and Tommy Smith, with the Black Fist punching a hole in the aura of the Olympic rings.

The student riots that began at Columbia University in New York, spread everywhere. LBJ walked away from the White House-refusing nomination. It was the year of the Tet offensive, the My Lai Massacre and the Pueblo incident.

It was a never ending cycle of bad news events, here at home, and abroad.

The catch phrases of that summer, ‘Hell No-We Won’t Go’…..’Make love-not war’..

It was a year of the firestorm in society.

I was about to graduate, trying to get into Graduate School, about to be reclassified 1-A for the draft, working in radio, losing my girlfriend, and watching my country riot.

December 7th-Pearl Harbor changed our country. 9/11 was a catastrophic even that galvanized our country. This era of Trump politics may be a distraction now in our country..

But 1968 was a war within our lands that left an indelible mark on society. So many good people lost their lives. So many bad things happened in our nation.

50-years ago this week, I wondered what was happening. It was America as we knew it, good-bad-ugly.

1968…indeed…a long hot summer of awful memories.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Moneyball-Matchup”

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

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“Moneyball Scoreboard”

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The Padres host the Oakland A’s in a short two game series on Tuesday-Wednesday at Petco Park.

The series doesn’t really mean much. Neither team is in any type of wild card race.

Both teams seem to be in constant rebuild mode for years.

But it is an interesting matchup of philosphies, the free spending AJ Preller, trying to build the Padres, and the tight fisted-small money Billy Beane, the GM of the Athletics.

This is the 7th Anniversary of the wildly successful movie ‘Moneyball’, an off shoot of Michael Lewis’ famous book, written 15-years ago, of how new breed front offices would change the face of basefball, by how they scout, how they spend, whom they sign.

It worked for the Boston Red Sox. Almost worked in Oakland. In San Diego, we are waiting to see if it will work.

The Padres have loads of young talent coming, a few here today, hopefully more next year, but it might be another two seasons of losing before you can actually mention, ‘Padres-Pennant Contender’ in the same sentence.

It’s been such a long wait. In the last four years since Preller took over as GM, the Friars are (114) games below the .500-mark, dating to 2010.

It’s been 11-years since this team was in the postseason, and they’ve had jut 1-winning season in 10-years.

The Athletics, once owned by Charley Finley, and dotted by spectacular players like Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter, Joe Rudi and Ricky Henderson, have been down for a long time too.

There are similarities to San Diego.. Constant ownership change, stadium problems, lots of different GMs, and small budgets.

The A’s, in constant rebuild mode, have finished first 6-times since 2000, but not much recently. But they’ve had 3-straight last place seasons, and enter this series with the Padres a combined 54-games under .500 in the last three years.

Beane has been the trigger man of this constant rebuild. Some view him as bright, some view him as eccentric. Some view him as a meddler.

What is amazing, and similar to San Diego, is the constant churn of the roster, trade after trade after trade of players, mostly pitchers. Some of it is money related, some of it is talent failure, some of it is gambling on talent.

Whereas Preller acquired talent, and then gave up on talent, need we remember Matt Kemp, the Uptons, James Shields and more, he has had more operating capital to work with, signing a boatload of talent from Cuba and the Dominican. Beane has been limited to drafting then dealing. .

In a stunning study of their rosters, the Athletics have moved 23-veteran pitchers off their major league rosters, who have gone on to success with other teams. They haven’t gotten fair value in most of their deals.

The giveaway of Tyson Ross to the Padres was the start of the exit of alot of recognizable names over a 7-year span..

Sonny Gray to the Yankees, Jesse Hahn shipped to Tampa Bay a year ago.

In 2016, Rich Hill became a Dodger, and relief ace Ryan Madsen was moved.

Before that, frontline starter Scott Kazmir, relief ace Ty Clippard, and starter Jesse Chavez.

In 2014, they dispatched closer Sean Doolittle, reliever Luke Gregorson and longtime starter Jeff Samardzija.

Among other veterans cut loose, still pitching, Brandon McCarthy, now in Atlanta, Brett Anderson with the Cubs, ex-Texas Ranger AJ McGriffin, relief aces Brad Ziegler and Andrew Bailey, front line starter Gio Gonzalez-still in Washington, and Dallas Braden.

There was an old time General Manager who couldn’t stop making trades. He did it in Chicago, with the White Sox, and Cleveland with the Indians. He almost became addicted to deals. In fact, he once traded his manager for another manager.

Frank ‘Trader’ Lane.

Billy Beane has become him. Lane didn’t win much. The A’s haven’t won much recently..

The Padres hope to win soon with Preller’s blueprint.

The matchup of ‘Moneyball’ begins Tuesday night, Beane-vs-Preller….Padres vs-A’s.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday “Weekend-Some Good-Some Bad”

Posted by on June 18th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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Sports-Some Good-Some Bad-Something for Everyone”

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VIVA MEXICO….What a start to the World Cup for El Tri-the Mexican side, with the shocking 1-0 win over Germany. It was not so much the surprise goal of young striker Chucky Lozano, but the brilliant play of veteran Ochoa in goal. A leaping deflection of a shot to the upper corner just minutes after Mexico had taken the lead. Diving across the goal-mouth saves, and saves on point blank shots The stunned German team fired 25-shots, but few were on goal. Mexican fans everywhere went wild for a team that has never gotten out of the 2nd round of the World Cup. How big was the win? Star Javier Hernandez, ‘Chicharito’ fell to the ground af the end wept uncontrollably. That’s how important this win was. This might be the Cup to get to the 2nd round and win a knockout round game.

RENALDO-WINS-LOSES….The Portugal star had a wild weekend. He scored a huge goal, his third of the game, on a blistering top shelf free kick in the 88th minute to earn his side with a tie with bitter rival Spain. The net day are the disclosure he will pay 21M in back tax money, after plea bargaining guilty to tax evasion. No jail time for him.

MESSI A MESS…A disappointing start for the the Argentine star, as his side wound up in a 1-1 tie with Iceland, that’s right Iceland. Messi missed a penalty kick that would have provided the victory.

BRAZIL BOMBS….Who could imagine this happening, Brazil struggling too in its opening game, and legendary Neymar not getting a goal, nor a shot on goal. He was fouled 10-times in the game in his opening Cup game.

USA-MIA…Wondered what it felt like in the heart for Michael Bradley, and American soccer star luminaries, Landon Donovan-Clint Dempsey-Tim Howard. They gave so much of themselves to lead US soccer to places it only wish it could be, a global soccer power. Now as transition occurs, young replace old, Team USA fails to quality. Must have been weird for those past stars to not see their team play this weekend.

LEFTY-WAS NOT RIGHT….He may be popular, but Phil Mickelson’s actions at the US Open, violating rules, by striking a putt a second time as it rolled by a hole. He wound up with a two stroke penalty, shot a 10 on the hole, and saw his weekend fall apart. So too, his reputation. National golf writes believe he should have been disqualified, or should have withdrawn. Instead he mocked jokes, and then went out and played on Sunday and blew off the media, not wishing to talk about what he had done. People are starting to question, who he is, why he acts the way he does. This, coming on the heels of his avoidance of jail time over the insider trading scandal, in which a friend of his got 40-years in prison.

USGA-US GOD AWFUL….It was an awful weekend in what should have been the best weekend in golf, at the US Open. They made Shinnecock impossible to play. Not one golf finished under par. It wasn’t just 33-mile an hour winds, it was slick greens, impossible pin placements, pot hold bunkers everywhere. There was rage everywhere from the guys who fell apart, and they all did. Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Ricky Fowler, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, all had scores of 77-to-81 somewhere along the weekend on the links. And finally the USGA admitted they were wrong for how they structured the course. It’s supposed to be a golf course, not an obstacle course

PADRES PATIENCE….The first third of the season was lousy, since then a much more competitive team. Still in last place, but they can stay in games, and win some when Tyson Ross-Clathon Richard and Joey Luchessi pitch. The bullpen has been rock solid, posting an impressive (1.50-ERA) on the just completed 10-game road trip. And down on the farm, a ton of pitchers are having good seasons.

CHARGERS OPEN THE GATES….The Bolts head to the summer break still looking for help at tight end. They have opened talks to bring back future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, but no deal yet, and the fact they might want Gates to take a payout from last year’s (5M) to the veteran minimum of 1M.

LIKE FATHER-NOT LIKE SON…The horrors of the arrest of former NFLer Kellen Winslow Junior on rape charges. Now it involves stalking, four women, two raped, two say they were victims of attempted rape, and a sleazy list of 9-charges in all. And reports more women may be surfacing. How bad is this. Potential life imprisonment, and refusal to set bail. That’s how bad.

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