Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smorgasbord: A Tiger, A Baron, Some Cardinals and Penguins

*Tiger Woods lost yesterday in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship continuing his string of disappointing play. The Masters is only seven weeks away. I'll bet the public will still make Tiger the betting favorite and while I'm not sure I would take him against the field, I would take him head-to-head against any other player. Even Phil.

*Baron Davis is making about $13 million this year and the next two. He had a pretty good thing going at Golden St. in 2008, but opted out to sign with his hometown team, the LA Clippers who were horrible. Now he's been traded to the purgatory that is the Cavs because the Clips don't want him ruining the Blake Griffin-Eric Gordon Era. I honestly wonder if Baron could have a do-over if he would make the same choice. How many guys have chased a few extra million dollars/year (not an insignificant amount, I recognize), left a good situation and flushed their career down the toilet? Baron Davis was relevant in the League a few years ago. But, about to turn 32, he won't ever be relevant again. He is still going to get paid about $30 million, so maybe the money makes it all worthwhile.

*Pitcher Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and miss the entire 2011 season. Wainwright was a 20-game winner and second in the NL Cy Young Award voting last year. In this Sept. 28 story from last season it was reported that Wainwright might miss his last start of the season because of stiffness in his elbow. It also says he was hurting during his previous two outings. Five months have passed. The Cards are going to pay him $6.5 million this year and $9.0 million next year. I cannot believe the first time the guy throws batting practice in spring training he tears up his elbow. What were the Cards doctors doing in the five months since the end of last season? Can they not stress test his elbow? The 12-15 month rehab that is now going to start this week would have started a long time ago. Tough news for Adam and Cards fans.

*While pitchers obviously face greater injury risk than position players the idea of paying Albert Pujols $30 million/season is, in the words of Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams, asinine. Baseball players won their battle with the owners with guaranteed contracts. Pujols is already 31. A ten-year, $300 million contract would be the worst in the history of any sport. If the Cards go down that road they will be done as a franchise for a decade.

*Penguins GM Ray Shero continues to build on his reputation as one of the best dealmakers in sports. Shero's offseason signings of Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek and decision to let Segei Gonchar walk have played out beautifully. This week he was able to acquire James Neal and Matt Niskanen from the Dallas Stars for Alex Goligoski. Most people in the NHL feel the trade would have been a good one for the Penguins if it was Neal for Gogo straight up. Neal is the young, high-scoring winger the team has sought to pair with Sidney Crosby. He is also under contract for more than just this season. The fact that Shero was also able to get Niskanen and add to a stable of young defensemen shows how good he is. With of plethora of defensive talent in their minor league system I would expect the Penguins to look to make another deal of this kind in the next 12 months.

*The Penguins have just re-acquired Alex Kovalev for a seventh round pick. We are sharing today as a birthday. I've got a few years on Kovi, but we are both looking to bring the magic back.

1 comment:

Hammerspeak said...

So much magic. Carried you in h.s.