Archives for June 2011

Source of Adam Dunn’s Hitting Struggles Revealed

adam-dunn

When Adam Dunn signed a 4-year, $56 Million contract with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, GM Kenny Williams believed he was adding his much-coveted left handed bat in the middle of the line-up with a career on-base plus slugging percentage (.OPS), of .890.

Instead he has a player hitting 114 points below his listed weight, who is posting a .487 OPS at a home ballpark known as a launching pad, and is striking out in over 43% of his at bats.  What is wrong with Adam Dunn? The Sportsbank has an inside look at what his problem could be.

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Cavs Trade J.J. Hickson to Kings for Omri Casspi, Draft Pick

J.J. Hickson

Just hours before the NBA locked out their players, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings completed a trade involving J.J. Hickson and Omri Casspi.  Here’s the breakdown.

By: David Kay

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College Football 77 in 77: #66 Navy Midshipmen

navy

“In the Navy, come on protect the Motherland. In the Navy, come on and join your fellow man.” In the Navy, at least in the college football program, you can also run the triple option, a very fun offense if you don’t care much about passing. Hey, it works though.

Just bear in mind when they play their traditional showcase rivalry game with Army that the number of total passes will be on par with a Decatur Staleys-Canton Bulldogs contest from the 1920s.

On a side note, television broadcasts of Navy Midshipmen games need to tone way down the military-industrial complex infomercial component.  I was all excited when Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 executed Osama bin Laden too, but the mainstream sports media is so in bed with the service academies that it severely detracts from the simple joy of watching college football.

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College Football 77 in 77: #67 Toledo Rockets

Eric Page is the best wide receiver you’ve never heard of. He’s the Toledo Rockets’ main weapon and MVP, and probably the best talent in the MAC. Page is one of the most underrated players in all of college football, and it’ll be interesting to see how the conference’s best team gets him the ball in their potential two-quarterback system.

So when it’s all said and done, will the Toledo Rockets be the MAC Champion?

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College Football 77 in 77: #68 Duke Blue Devils

DICKIE V.

When it comes to Duke Blue Devils college football, there is no equivalent of: the Cameron Crazies, Krzyzewskiville, slapping the floor when you get back on defense, the Tobacco Road rivalry or the tradition of ACC championships.

To call this place a college basketball school is to say that Kim Kardashian has “a bit of a booty on her.” The football program is pretty much like any Kardashian not named Kim. Maybe that’s not fair entirely- Duke sports does have some talent within in it. Can’t say the same for any Kardashian.

But did you know?…Duke went to the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl, and tied for the 1989 ACC Conference title, the final season that the big visor, Steve Spurrier was leading the program.

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2011 NBA Free Agent Small Forward Rankings

tayshaun prince free agent

Like the NFL is currently experiencing, the NBA free agency period is up in the air with a league lockout looming.  When teams are able to sign free agents, there are several veteran small forwards like Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier, and Grant Hill who will hit the open market and can bring their experience to help a team try and make a run at the NBA title.  Here are my 2011 free agent small forward rankings.

By: David Kay

UPDATE: 6/30/11

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Applying the Allan Houston Rule to NBA Atlantic Division Teams in 2011

allan houston knicks

One of the topics expected to be discussed during the pending NBA Lockout is the possible revival of The Allan Houston Rule.  When a new CBA was agreed upon in 2005, it allowed NBA teams a one time opportunity to waive a player and not have his contract count against the luxury tax teams have to pay if their team salary exceeds a pre-determined amount set by the league.  The released player becomes a free agent but his salary still gets paid and counts against his former team’s salary cap.  Ironically enough, Allan Houston was not a victim of The Allan Houston Rule.  The Knicks instead decided to waive Jerome Williams.

If the new CBA once again invokes this clause, most teams will probably take advantage since it would save them possibly tens of millions of dollars.  To keep up with the times, we will change the name of this from “The Allan Houston Rule” to the “Rashard Arenas Rule” since Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas easily have the two worst contracts in the league.  Allow me to break down each team and who would end up being the casualties of this rule.  Here is the Atlantic Division.

By: David Kay

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2011 NHL Entry Draft Recap

 

nhl draft recap

2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT RECAP

 

The dust has settled on the floor of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has completed.  The hometown Minnesota Wild made the first big splash at the draft, trading Brent Burns to the San Jose Sharks.  The rest of the NHL Entry Draft weekend saw more trades, a lot of picks, and the loud and celebrated return of the Winnipeg Jets.  To find out everything that went down at the center of the universe, the winners and losers, continue on after the jump.

 

Bryan Vickroy

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Just How Valuable is Justin Verlander to the Detroit Tigers?

verlander

Justin Verlander put on a show yesterday with his 119 pitch, 14 strikeout, 8 shutout inning performance.  I wish I could say any of his success this year was a surprise but, looking at trends in his numbers and his renewed attitude toward Spring Training set him up for this type of success.  He is the top pitcher in baseball right now and showing no signs of slowing down.

Verlander’s dominance is not hard to quantify.

  • He leads the Majors in wins (10),
  • Strikeouts(124, second place: 119)
  • Innings pitched (128.2, second place: 122)
  • WHIP (.839, second place: .920)
  • 1st in the AL in Win/Loss %
  • 1st in the AL in WAR for pitchers
  • 3rd in the AL in K/BB
  • 4th in the AL in ERA

He’s in the top 5 in the AL for every good statistic I could think of.  His WHIP is almost a half a baserunner per inning better than league average and he’s on pace for the 12th best WHIP ever and the 3rd best since 1913 (Pedro (.737 in 2000) is first and Maddux (.811 in 1995) is second).

And he’s getting better: Over his last 6 starts he’s 6-0 while getting an average of 25 outs per game (8.1 IP) allowing 4 total runs, 4 walks and compiling 51 strikeouts.

The Red Flag pops up though.  Over the course of his career he’s best in July and his new approach in Spring Training (which we documented here) suggests that he may break down earlier this year.  He’s a power pitcher who consistently sees his ERA rise in August and September.  I’m on the lookout for that to happen again but, with his current form and still reaching triple digit RADAR readings after 110 pitches, it’s going to take more than the turn of a calander month to slow Justin down.

Stats of the Day:  1)Justin Verlander has no nickname. To put this in perspective, Jose Valverde has a nickname.  Come on baseball fans, Verlander is not so much fun to say that we can’t come up with something.  This has got to be Shaq’s new job, nickname master.  2) The Pittsburgh Pirates are 39-37 and in 3rd place in the NL Central.  I think this could get interesting, as Pittsburgh is desperate for a winner and I see them being major buyers at the deadline if they continue to play this type of ball.  3) The Atlanta Braves have the fourth best winning percentage in the Majors despite being 18th in the league in runs scored, 25th in batting average and last in stolen bases (6 players have more steals than the Braves)

-Sean Morash

Be sure to visit Off The Bench for more great baseball articles.

Team MVP and Cy Young for All AL Central Teams

asdrubal-cabrera-indians

With the midpoint of the 2011 season nearing More Hardball has taken the opportunity to name each team’s MVP and Cy Young through the first half. Today we feature the American League Central division.

And as you know, TSB is all AL Central (and NL Central) all the time.

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Former K.C. Chiefs RB Larry Johnson Now Working with Jay-Z

larry-johnson-nfl

After the jump, we’ve embedded an exclusive video interview with NFL Running Back Larry Johnson, where he discusses numerous topics including the current 2011 NFL lockout, his college career at Penn State with Joe Paterno, being influenced by Nittany Lions players like Curtis Enis, Courtney Brown, LaVar Arrington, Ki-Jana Carter and the new 2011 NFL season rule changes.

This feature with the former member of the Cincinnati Bengals and K.C. Chiefs comes to use from the good people at Sports Bully.com

LJ also talks about how he got started with Team Roc & Rocawear through Dame Dash, his current relationship/friendship with mogul rapper Jay-Z, and his thoughts on Rocnation artist J.Cole and Wale.

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2011 NBA Free Agent Center Rankings

marc gasol grizzlies

Legit NBA big men are hard to come by these days.  That is why the 2011 NBA free agent centers are an intriguing bunch since they are at least five players who could immediately start for a good amount of teams in need of size in the middle.  Here are my free agent center rankings.

UPDATED: 6/30/11

By: David Kay

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