Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Chip Shots

- In a Sports Business Journal report, it was revealed that Bud Selig made $14.5 million dollars last year. It also showed that MLB central office employees make an average of $334,000 a year compared to $49,000 a year by NFL central office employees. Some would question this considering Bud Selig is widely considered incompetent, by anyone, and the NFL continues to prosper. But I don't think you can really begin to question it until MLB begins to hire ex-Enron executives.

- The coaching carousel has continued to spin in recent days. Stan Heath, who got fired because people at Arkansas are obviously out of their minds, was hired by South Florida. Heath had two consecutive 20 win seasons and NCAA births at Arkansas. Apparently, they forgot that he had successfully overcome the most challenging task, of getting players to actually want to go to Arkansas.

- John Beilein was hired at Michigan, where his 1-3-1 defense will immediately improve the Wolverines chances. However, he will need to learn how to play a slower style that is painfully boring to watch, if he hopes to fit in in the Big Ten.

- After losing Steve Alford to New Mexico, Iowa greatly improved their coaching situation by hiring Butler head coach Todd Lickliter. After turning Butler into a mid-major power over the past six seasons, Lickliter should return Iowa basketball to a contender in the Big Ten.

- With the additions of Tubby Smith, Beilein, and Lickliter the Big Ten has instantly improved the quality of coaching in the League. Those three should join Kelvin Sampson, Tom Izzo, Bo Ryan, and Thad Matta as well coached teams. Now if we could only get them scoring above 50 points a game.

- Speaking of new coaches, Arkansas thought they had their man in Creighton head coach Dana Altman, but in what seems to be a case of karma for the inexplicable Heath firing, Altman resigned from the position to return to Creighton. It's difficult not to poke fun at Arkansas, who, after a very successful football season had half of their team transfer, now this. It seems, oh so, deserving for a rabid fan base, that seem to have never seen any place, outside of Arkansas.

- While rumors continue to circulate about Florida head coach Billy Donovan leaving to go to Kentucky, Donovan continues to not address the question. Experts believe this is a sign that he is going to take the reported $4 million offer from the Cats, and run with it. I still don't see any way that a head coach can leave after winning back to back national titles, thus assuring his status as a historic figure at Florida. I really think Nick Saban is the only person that could be cruel enough to leave this job, regardless of what the money is.

- While we're on the subject of Florida departures, after finishing off what they came back for, you'd have to think that Noah, Horford, and Corey Brewer will turn pro and forgo their senior season. I think Greg Oden will join them after putting together his first dominating performance all season. But, if you're going to pick one game to make your best one, I'd go with the National Championship game too. Besides, Oden's going to have to retire in a few seasons due to old age right?

- Opening day has come and gone, bringing hope for all teams, and quickly crushing hopes for the Washington Nationals. Several games of note:

Toronto 5, Detroit 3 (10)
- To the delight of Toronto fans, a season ago, the Blue Jays opened up their pocket books and announced their arrival as a contender. Now if they could only find a way to change divisions. But with a solid lineup, two aces in Halliday and Burnett, and a solid bullpen, the Blue Jays could have their best chance to threaten in the division or the wild card. The Red Sox pitching staff and defense both still have some questions marks, and the Yankees pitching rotation featured opening day starter, Carl Pavano. Let that sink in for a second. Carl Pavano.

Florida 9, Washington 2
- Washington is terrible. Absolutely abysmal. John Patterson took the hill on opening day, and got lit up for 6 runs in 3.2 innings as Washington lost their first of what could easily be 100 losses this season. The division should be pretty competitive, which should lead to many, many losses. Perhaps Frank Robinson was fired to protect his health and sanity as this team is much worse than last year's team. At least the Redskins are always active in free agency, otherwise CSPAN would be the leading attraction in DC this summer.

Milwaukee 7, LA Dodgers 1
- Milwaukee has been picked by many to win the NL Central this season and they showed why. With a youthful powerful lineup and a solid pitching staff, Milwaukee looks ready to contend. Ben Sheets looks to finally reach his unlimited potential after throwing a 2-hit complete game in the opener.

Pittsburgh 4, Houston 2 (10)
- Brad Lidge picked up right where he left off last season by blowing a 2-1 lead with 2 outs in the 9th, before the Astros eventually went on to lose in the 10th. Pending a minor miracle for the Pirates and some pitching and hitting for the Astros, both of these teams look to compete with the Cubs for last place in the NL Central. Yes, the Cubs. Don't believe me? They're the Cubs.

Seattle 4, Oakland 0
- King Felix looks ready to assume the thrown after giving up 0 runs over 8 innings with 12 strikeouts and 2 walks. With Ichiro and Felix, Seattle should have a great chance to win. Once every 5 days.

No comments: