ToThePointSports

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Here’s What The Philadelphia Phillies’ Plan Should Be For September Call-Ups

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  • The Philadelphia Phillies season is over.  The Phillies have no shot at making the Playoffs.  Therefore, the Phillies should dedicate the entire month of September towards the future.  Here are my suggestions:
  • Play Darin Ruf in left field for the Phillies.  Tell Ruf that the Phillies do not care how he looks defensively and that they are only looking at his hitting at this point.  Also, the Philadelphia Phillies should give Ryan Howard a few extra days off and Darin Ruf can also get some time at first base.
  • Make Domonic Brown the Philadelphia Phillies starting center fielder for the rest of the season.  The reports are that Domonic Brown’s best position in the minors was center field.  The Philadelphia Phillies need a starting center fielder after trading Shane Victorino.  John Mayberry Jr. is a decent back-up center fielder but he is not an everyday starter.
  • Once healthy and ready, the Philadelphia Phillies should play Nate Schierholtz everyday in right field to take a look at him.  Until he is healthy, the Phillies can play Lance Nix in right field.
  • Play Cody Asche at third base.  The Philadelphia Phillies are high on him and they need a starting third basemen.  So let’s take a look.
  • Play Kevin Frandsen at second base and shortstop.  Despite his great play, the Philadelphia Phillies have already indicated that they do not think that Kevin Frandsen is the answer for the Phillies as their everyday third basemen.  Instead, the Phillies see Frandsen as a utility player who can play 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop.  So if Kevin Frandsen’s future is as a utility player, then let’s see some of that utility.
  • Continue to play Erik Kratz as the Philadelphia Phillies everyday catcher.  What is the purposes of playing Carlos Ruiz for a couple of weeks coming off an injury?
  • Do not play Placido Polanco except in case of an emergency.  Polanco is not part of the Phillies future so there is not point in playing him.  Even though he has played well, we really do not need to see Juan Pierre either.
  • Shutdown Vance Worley.  Vance Worley needs surgery when the season is over and is not pitching well.  Why not shut down Vance Worley and get him started on his surgery a month earlier which will then give him an extra month to recover and prepare for next season.
  • Pitch Tyler Cloyd in Vance Worley’s place.  The Philadelphia Phillies do not appear to be very high on Tyler Cloyd despite his phenomenal minor league season.  And the Phillies may very well be right that Tyler Cloyd is just a AAA pitcher.  However, Tyler Cloyd has pitched well enough where he at least deserves a shot in an otherwise meaningless season.  Tyler Cloyd cannot be any worse than an injured Vance Worley.  And if Tyler Cloyd pitches well in September and the Phillies still do not believe in him, the Phillies can always trade him.
  • Bring up a whole bunch of reliever arms.  The Philadelphia Phillies have had terrible relief pitching this year.  There is not a single reliever on the roster who can take over the Ryan Madsen set-up role like a few years ago.  Therefore, the Phillies need to go eighth inning by committee.  Why not “Tony LaRussa” the other team to death and go lefty-righty match-ups on every batter in the eighth in a close game.  If the Philadelphia Phillies are still in fantasy land that they can somehow make the playoffs, this could only help them anyway.

What should the Philadelphia 76ers do after the Andrew Bynum trade?

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  • With Andrew Bynum, the Philadelphia 76ers now have someone to build around towards an NBA Championship.
  • However, as much as I like the trade for Andrew Bynum for the Philadelphia 76ers, they are still a long way from beating the Miami Heat and competing for an NBA Championship.
  • The Miami Heat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Los Angeles Lakers have a big three.  Therefore, Andre Bynum is not enough for the Philadelphia 76ers to be true contenders for an NBA Championship.  The Philadelphia 76ers, at minimum, are going to need another franchise player to team with Andrew Bynum.
  • While we do not the full potential of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, there is nothing that I have seen from them that indicates that they will be franchise players.
  • Right now, 76ers are going to be right at the salary cap going into free agency next summer assuming they re-sign Andrew Bynum.  Therefore, they won’t be able to sign another franchise free agent.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers need to shed themselves about $20 million dollars so that they can compete in free-agency next summer.
  • The 76ers can shed $20 million in salary by trading Thad Young, Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, Kwame Brown for expiring contracts. Hawes, Allen, and Brown only have two years on their contracts at relatively reasonable rates and therefore they probably are tradeable for expiring contracts.  Thad Young is a good player who makes around $8 million a year for several more years.  A franchise like the Toronto Raptors who won’t be in position to sign a major free agent, probably would be interested in acquiring Thad Young for an expiring contract.
  • If they shed salary, the Philadelphia 76ers can go after Chris Paul in free agency.
  • Also, if the 76ers shed salary, should a franchise player come available in a trade, the 76ers could trade and take on salary without having to provide matching salary.  The 76ers could use Evan Turner and/or Jrue Holiday plus cap relief to trade for a franchise player.
  • Some possible players I could see coming available next year for one reason or another are Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, Kevin Love, and Pau Gasol.
  • Also, maybe with a dominant center, you could compete for an NBA Championship with only a franchise center and a lot of good players even if you cannot get a second franchise player.  The Houston Rockets won two NBA Championships around Hakeem Olajuwon.  The Orlando Magic made it to the NBA Finals with Dwight Howard.
  • Therefore, maybe the combination of Andrew Bynum, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday and one of the following players will be enough to be contenders for NBA Championship:  Andre Igoudala, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Manu Ginobili, David West, Serge Ibaka, or James Harden.
  • I doubt that 76ers will take my suggestion and shed the salary, but then again, I did not think they were going to be able to trade for Andrew Bynum either.

 

 

Written by tothepointsports

August 13, 2012 at 2:16 am

Posted in NBA

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What were the Orlando Magic thinking with the Dwight Howard deal?

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  • I have no idea what the Orlando Magic were thinking regarding the Dwight Howard trade.
  • The Orlando Magic had indicated that they wanted draft picks, young players, and salary cap relief for Dwight Howard.
  • The Orlando Magic stated that they wanted to follow the Oklahoma City model when it came to trading Dwight Howard.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder built the franchise by drafting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.  These were all top draft picks.
  • The Orlando Magic received three protected first round draft picks.  In other words, there is no chance that any of the draft picks that the Orlando Magic will receive will be in the top 5.  Therefore, there is a very slim chance that any of the draft picks that the Orlando Magic received will be Championship building pieces.
  • The Orlando Magic also received Maurice Harkless and Nic Vucevic.  These were both mid first-round draft picks.  At best, Nic Vucevic is going to be a quality role player.  Nic Vucevic is not a player you can build around.
  • Some have stated that Maurice Harkless is a high potential player. Maybe, but generally speaking, mid first-round picks do not turn into franchise players, but you never know.  Maurice Harkless is the only player that the Orlando Magic received that made any sense.
  • The Orlando Magic also received Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington.  These are decent, but not great players.  They both have multiple years left on their contracts and they make a decent amount of money.  You cannot build a franchise around Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington.  They are also not young players.
  • The Orlando Magic also traded Jason Richardson.  While trading Jason Richardson shed some salary; however, the overall net impact of trading Richardson and receiving Afflalo and Harrington reduced the Orlando Magic’s cap flexibility.
  • The bottom line is that the Orlando Magic did not get high potential young players or draft picks and they have less salary cap flexibility.
  • In fact, the trade for the Orlando Magic was so bad that maybe it will indirectly help lead the Orlando Magic to an NBA title.
  • If the Orlando Magic are so bad over the next three or four while they rid themselves of all these average players with not so great contracts, then maybe they will get high draft picks that can turn into to the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.

What are the Philadelphia Phillies going to do at 3rd base in 2013?

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  • The trade deadline for 2012 has come and gone and the Philadelphia Phillies still do not have a third baseman for 2013.
  • Placido Polanco is in the last year of his contract and I doubt that the Phillies will re-sign him as he is 36 years old.  Although Polanco can still field, he is injury prone at this point in his career and he has lost most of his effectiveness as a hitter.
  • The planned back-up 3rd basemen on the Philadelphia Phillies, Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot, cannot field at an acceptable level for the major leagues.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies just brought up Kevin Frandsen to play 3rd base.  I have seen him play one-game and he looked good defensively.
  • Kevin Frandsen has also gotten off to a good start offensively with the Phillies.  However, prior to yesterday, I had never heard of him.
  • So while maybe Kevin Frandsen will have a place on the Philadelphia Phillies roster as back-up, I doubt that the Phillies will be comfortable with Kevin Frandsen as their planned starting 3rd baseman for 2013.
  • There are not really any great 3rd basemen who will be available during free agency for 2013.
  • Kevin Youkilis might be available since the Chicago White Sox have a $13 million dollar option.  Kevin Youkilis will be 34 years old next year.  Kevin Youkilis might be a stop-gap option for the Philadelphia Phillies if they cannot come up with a better option.
  • Mark Reynolds, the Baltimore Orioles 3rd baseman, will be a free-agent next year.  However, he is a strike-out king and has a low batting average.  In prior years, at least he hit home runs.  However, Mark Reynolds only has 8 home runs this year.  With Ryan Howard, the Philadelphia Phillies already have a high strike-out guy and they do not need another one especially if he has lost his power.  Mark Reynolds is not an ideal option for the Phillies.
  • I am not aware of any other known quantities at 3rd base that will be free-agents next year.
  • So it looks like that Philadelphia Phillies will have to make a trade to get a third baseman for next year.
  • There are not a lot of third-baseman available for trade.  One player who could possibly be available is Texas Rangers’ prospect Mike Olt.
  • There were rumors that the Texas Rangers were interested in Cliff Lee as they need a top of the line starter; however, the Texas Rangers did not want to pay the $87 million that is guaranteed for Cliff Lee over the next 3 years.
  • I do not think that the Philadelphia Phillies want to trade Cliff Lee.  Also, I do not think that the Philadelphia Phillies want to eat any up Cliff Lee’s salary.  But what if the Phillies do not have a viable option at 3rd base?
  • The Philadelphia Phillies have lots of holes that they need to fill.  The Phillies do not have an established starting outfielder or third-baseman on the roster.  The Phillies also need bullpen help.
  • What if the Philadelphia Phillies trade Cliff Lee for Mike Olt and maybe some lower level prospects and the Phillies paid about $27 million of the $87 million that is guaranteed to Cliff Lee over the next 3 years?
  • This would give the Texas Rangers the top-level pitcher that they need for the next three years to compete for a World Series and bring Cliff Lee’s cost down to earth from about $29 million per year to $20 million per year.  The Texas Rangers already have Adrian Beltre at third base.
  • The trade would give the Philadelphia Phillies a starting 3rd baseman and it would be like the Phillies would be signing Mike Ult to a 3 year $27 million dollar contract.  I would rather give that contract to a 24-year-old than a 34-year-old Youkilis or a 29-year-old Mark Reynolds who is hitting .208.
  • If you take away the $9 million per year that the Phillies would be paying the Texas Rangers from the $29 million average for Cliff Lee over the next 3 years, if the Phillies want too, they can spend the remaining $20 million on a replacement for Cliff Lee, bullpen help, and outfield help.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies will still have Cole Hamels and Roy Hallladay at the top of their rotation.
  • There might be other options for the Phillies, but trading Cliff Lee might be the best option in order to get a 3rd baseman and additional help for the rest of the roster for 2013 and beyond.

Written by tothepointsports

August 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Does Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien have one of the best jobs in sports?

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  • As everyone knows, the Penn State football team has a 4 year post-season ban, loss of 10 scholarships per year for 4 years, and other sanctions.
  • Many people have commented how difficult a situation this is for the new Penn State Head Football Coach, Bill O’Brien.
  • First, with the 4 year post-season ban, by his contract, Bill O’Brien’s contract has been extended until 2020.
  • Therefore, regardless of how well Penn State Football performs on the field, Bill O’Brien will make big money until 2020.
  • The expectations for Penn State’s Football program are low.  However, most current Penn State Football Players are not going to leave.
  • Therefore, Penn State should have a pretty good football team this year and probably next year, based on the current Penn State football players.
  • Therefore, Bill O’Brien and Penn State Football will probably exceed most people’s expectations the first few years under the ban.
  • If Penn State does well on the football field this year, Bill O’Brien will have a lot to offer a recruit.
  • Bill O’Brien can offer greater opportunity for playing time than other major college football programs, big time opponents, television, preparation for the NFL based on his NFL experience, Penn State academics, and the Penn State experience such as playing in front of over 100,000 people.
  • The only things that Bill O’Brien and Penn State can not offer is the potential to play for the conference championship, bowl games, and a chance at a national championship.
  • First, while Penn State has been pretty good over the last decade or so, Penn State really has not been a true contender for a national champion for a long time.
  • Therefore, if you are a well sought after recruit who can play anywhere and playing for a national championship is highly important, you are probably not going to go to Penn State anyway.
  • The fact that Penn State cannot go to a bowl game is certainly a negative.  However, Bill O’Brien has stated that he is trying to get an extra game added to his schedule at the end of the year such as playing at Hawaii.
  • I am sure if Penn State offers the opponent the proper financial incentives, then Penn State could end-up playing at schools like Hawaii, San Diego State, and University of Central Florida (which is in Orlando).  These games will most likely be on television and will most likely have a strong alumni following that will travel to these games.  In other words, these game will probably be just like any other bowl game other than a major bowl game that has national championship ramifications.
  • Each year that passes, a year of the sanctions will be removed.  So a new recruit next year will have at least 1 year where Penn State will be bowl eligible.  Two years if they red-shirt.
  • A new Penn State football recruit will have the opportunity to be beloved by Penn State nation as someone who came to Penn State despite the sanctions.
  • Penn State should still do very wel recruiting in Pennsylvania and neighboring East Coast states like New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.
  • The bottom line is I am sure that some top-level recruits will be turned off to Penn State; however, Penn State will still have a lot to offer so I bet some will come.
  • And with the increased likelihood of playing time and with a coach from an NFL background, Penn State may have more to offer recruits than other football powerhouses.
  • Bill O’Brien is in a great position to do better than most people expect and he has incredible job security.
  • In other words, Bill O’Brien has one of the best job in sports.

 

Written by tothepointsports

July 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

How will the NCAA sanctions impact the Penn State football team?

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  • In the scheme of things, whether Penn State has a good football team or not is not important.  However, Penn State football is still of interest to many people.
  • Some think that the Penn State sanctions on its football team are as bad or worse than the impact on SMU when it received the death penalty and the football team was shut down for 2 years.  It took SMU about 25 years before it could develop a competitive football team.
  • There is no doubt that the NCAA sanctions will significantly impact Penn State’s football team’s performance for a number of years.  However, I do not think the sanctions will be as impactful on the field as the sanctions were to SMU.
  • First, I think most of the players on the Penn State football team will stay.  If you are Senior or Junior, are you going to want to leave Penn State to play one or two years at another institution?  Penn State will still be playing other major college football teams in the Big Ten and elsewhere.  I doubt any Seniors will leave and I think most Juniors will stay as well.
  • There will probably be some Sophomores and incoming Freshman who will leave.  However, I don’t think they all will leave.
  • As mentioned, Penn State will still be playing big time football.  Also, with the loss of scholarships, there may be opportunity to play sooner than later for some.  Many big-time college recruits have to wait several years before getting their chance to play as there are other major talents ahead of them.
  • In many cases, because a team has so many highly recruited players, some players never get a chance to play at a school even though the are on a football scholarship.  So there may be only a small number of freshman and sophomores who leave.
  • If the majority of players stay at Penn State, then in the short-term, Penn State should have a respectable football team.
  • Next year’s incoming recruiting class will be able to play in the post-season their Senior season.  Most college football players do not get a chance to be a major contributor until their Junior and Senior seasons.  So unless you are an absolute stud, the post-season ban may not impact you that much.
  • Also, Penn State can now offer a better chance to play sooner than at other big-time college programs.
  • Penn State has brought in a coach from a professional background.  Joe Paterno’s old-school offense may have been a turn-off to some recruits in the past.
  • Joe Paterno’s age and not knowing when he will retire may have been a turn-off to some recruits.
  • Penn State will still be playing against big-time opponents like Ohio State and Michigan every year.
  • In recent years, while Penn State has been a good program, the Penn State program was not a top ten program.  I am not sure how many of the best of the blue chip prospects were coming to Penn State anyway.
  • I suspect that Penn State will be average to below average in the Big Ten over the next 4 years; however, I do think they will be competitive.
  • The Penn State football team should be competitive over the next two years due to the talent that has already been recruited.
  • In about 2 years, Penn State can make a strong case to good recruits that you will get the opportunity to play major college football quicker at Penn State than at other big-time programs and that you will still be able to play in the post-season your Junior and Senior years.
  • Penn State football is in a much stronger position than SMU was to survive sanctions.
  • Penn State is the major state college football team in Pennsylvania with only Pittsburgh being a major in-state rival.
  • SMU had to compete with Texas, Texas A&M, and other good in-state football programs.
  • Being the major in-state football University in Pennsylvania, it will be natural for more Pennsylvania recruits to gravitate towards Penn State than Texas recruits did to SMU after their scandal.
  • Penn State will still be playing football and on TV.  SMU shut its program for 2 years and had to start from scratch.
  • Penn State’s football alumni can be involved in the recruiting.  SMU did not use their football alumni to help recruit as the football alumni were part of the SMU scandal.
  • In about 6 years, I am guessing that Penn State will have a top 25 program again.

 

Written by tothepointsports

July 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Did the NCAA get it right regarding the Penn State sanctions?

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  • Overall, I think that the NCAA did a good job when it comes to punishing Penn State.
  • First, should the NCAA have gotten involved with punishing Penn State?
  • Penn State had a child molester who had access to their football team.
  • Joe Paterno and the Penn State knew that Jerry Sandusky was being accused of child molestation.
  • However, neither Joe Paterno nor the Penn State administration went to the police or the appropriate child welfare authority regarding Jerry Sandusky.
  • The only logical conclusion is that Joe Paterno and the Penn State administration did not go to the authorities regarding Jerry Sandusky because they were more concerned about the reputation of the football team than protecting children.
  • This is the poster child for lack of institutional control and this lack of institutional control enabled Jerry Sundusky to continue molesting children.
  • Therefore, the NCAA had an obligation to get involved in sanctioning Penn State.
  • Were the Penn State sanctions against the football team appropriate?
  • A strong argument can be made that Penn State should have received the death penalty.  Due to the consequences, Penn State’s lack of institutional control over its football was far worse than SMU.
  • The death penalty for Penn State’s football team would not only indicate to Penn State that the University needed to get its priorities straight regarding its football team, but it would have sent a clear message to all major college sports that an athletic program needs to think twice before engaging in an activity that is either illegal or immoral in order to protect its football team.
  • However, the NCAA decided not to impose the death penalty on the Penn State football team.
  • The main argument is that innocent people who had nothing to do with the Penn State scandal would be hurt by the death penalty.
  • Penn State football provides a major revenue source for the Central Pennsylvania region.
  • Penn State football players and current coaches had nothing to do with the Penn State scandal.
  • While inconvenienced, the Penn State football players could go to other schools to play football.  With or without football, Penn State could honor scholarships to players if they wanted to stay at Penn State.  Penn State coaches could get jobs at other institutions.
  • I am not trivializing the impact of shutting down football would have on Penn State players and coaches; however, there is almost always collateral damage when there is punishment.
  • When a man who is married with children commits a crime, when we send the man to jail, the wife and children suffer.  However, in order to have a workable justice system, collateral damage is often unavoidable.
  • However, by not giving Penn State the death penalty, I am fine with the NCAA mitigating the damages to the Central Pennsylvania economy.
  • The NCAA did impose a four-year post season ban, loss of scholarships, and a major fine among other penalties.
  • The NCAA sanctions will enable Penn State to worry less about winning and more about developing the proper perspective regarding football in a University setting.
  • The NCAA sanctions will act as a deterrent to other schools the next time they are faced with a situation where they may be tempted to put the football team’s interests before societies’ interests.
  • You can argue that the sanctions for Penn State football were either too hard or too soft.
  • However, overall, I think the NCAA sanctions were a reasonable balance of sending a message to Penn State and to other universities that have big-time college athletic programs while mitigating the damages to those who had nothing to do with the Penn State scandal.

Written by tothepointsports

July 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

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