Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your On the Clock...

Every Tuesday at AOL Fanhouse, two NBA columnists debate different questions pertaining to all things under the hoops umbrella. Despite my many requests and emails, one question has gone unanswered. Hence, KC Sports Rant is bringing you, the reader, into to the action. Here is the question that is up for debate:

In a draft where the skill and age of all players being drafted is equal, what position do you draft with the first overall pick?

A couple of caveats before you answer. The needs of your team are irrelevant – suppose you are two-deep at every position with average players, as many NBA teams are. Second, assume that playing time will not be a foreseeable problem – your draftee will start for the team from day one. Essentially the question can boil down to this: given the conditions above, would you pick a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward or center?

This journalist (yeah I said it… journalist) is going with the latter. With the first pick in this fake draft, KC Sports Rant selects… a center!

First, we have to recognize the other positions. The forward spots can be easily dismissed. In the NBA today, the difference between small and power forward is becoming quite obscured (see Odom, Lamar and Lewis, Rashard). Shooting guards are essential to any team and many times are the best player on the floor – just look at what Joe Johnson and Michael Redd do for their teams. The point guard came in a close second because someone has to quarterback the team. However, some of the better point guards like Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas and Mo Williams contribute more scoring than they do distributing.

And now to our pick: the center. The name of the game in the NBA is winning, championships in particular. And centers are keystones of any successful franchise.

First, let’s take a look at recent NBA champions. With Andrew Bynum out, Pau Gasol filled in at the five-spot for the recently crowned Lakers. Sure, Gasol isn’t a typical center as he can shoot pretty well. However, he is a clean seven feet, hordes rebounds and is excellent at finishing around the rim. Los Angeles’ opponent, the Orlando Magic, without a doubt rely heavily on their young big man Dwight Howard. Take Dwight away from Orlando and they are not even sniffing the finals.

The San Antonio Spurs are another team that reaps the benefits of an excellent big man. Tim Duncan, arguably the best big of his generation, has been solely responsible for keeping the Spurs relevant after the retirement of Hall of Famer David Robinson. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli were instrumental in San Antonio’s three recent championships, but they were second fiddle to the Big Fundamental. And for those of you arguing that Duncan is a power forward, swing by his player profile (

Eastern conference contenders Miami and Detroit leaned heavily on their dominant big men in championship runs. Yes, Shaq was Dwayne Wade’s sidekick but you can’t deny his four championship rings. The Pistons had the benefit of Rasheed Wallace’s ability to stretch the floor, but the guy can bang inside with anybody. And with Ben Wallace as the power forward, Sheed won the ring as a center.

The point is, if you take Gasol, Howard, Duncan, O’Neal and Wallace off those championship teams, most likely the squads aren’t finishing their season with a ring (or in Howard’s case an Eastern Conference championship).

And what about the centers in the rest of the NBA?

Yao Ming’s health is Houston’s singular excuse for not having a recent championship. Newly acquired Emeka Okafor has New Orleans thinking they will be back in the Finals discussion. Spencer Hawes and Andrew Bogut have two perennially losing teams not needing any further presence in the paint. The Golden State Warriors are a terrific example of this debate as they are overloaded with guards and swing players. Andris Biedrins alone is responsible for giving Golden State a presence on the defensive glass.

The most recent and tangible example of drafting big occurred on draft night in 2007. With the first pick, Portland took Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Certainly Durant showed much sooner that he belongs in the NBA, but what is Oklahoma City’s biggest weakness? They have no interior game at all. The Blazers went with Oden because it is much easier to fill the roster with quality perimeter personnel when you have good big men. Oden has a long way to go, but the physical transition to center from college is much more difficult than small forward.

This discussion is not to take away from the other four players on the floor at all. Everyone contributing regularly is probably the most important aspect of basketball. The Boston Celtics won a title by relying on an unprecedented team effort with Kendrick Perkins as the center.

However, in the situation presented earlier is a certain scenario where the center is valued above everyone else. If the talent on the draft board is equally distributed among the positions, grabbing a big man for you team is the first building block in developing success in the NBA.

Dr. Murphy out

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where Oh Where Should Randolph Play?

Until Friday the Golden State Warriors’ offseason had been a quiet one. Albeit for drafting Stephen Curry and a couple Amar’e Stoudemire trade rumors, Oakland’s finest have coasted under the radar for most of the summer.

But that was all forgotten when guard/forward Stephen Jackson announced his desire to be traded, seeking greener pastures and another championship opportunity (he nabbed a ring in ’03 with the Spurs). Dispute Jackson’s quality as a basketball player all you want, but in the waning months before the NBA season this is big news.

This big news is precisely the inspiration for the following words, although they stray from Jackson a bit.

With the concept that Jackson wants to be on a contender – and possibly vice versa – Warrior fans have flooded chats, message boards and comment sections with ideas to get Jack out of the Bay. The crux of many trade ideas have the Warriors seeking a low-post presence with some playoff pedigree, while moving star-in-the-making forward Anthony Randolph to small forward.

The nation of Golden State fans have suggested, among others, Udonis Haslem, Jason Maxiell, Kenyon Martin and even Michael Beasley.

I digress, for the sole purpose of this rambling is to solidly dispute that Randolph – on whom Golden State’s hopes and dreams hinge – should ever move out of the paint to start at small forward. At least not any time soon.

First and foremost, he can’t shoot from beyond the arc. One of the tenants of Don Nelson’s small-ball ideology is that every skill player he has on the floor can shoot the 3. Just look at the current roster, featuring 3-point aces Anthony Morrow and Kelenna Azubuike, accompanied by CJ Watson, Devean George, Curry and Jackson (for now). Of course Randolph is all of 20 years old so developing a triple is not out of the question. However, Nellie loves mismatches, and if Randolph was a 3-point threat, it might be best served at power forward to draw out opposing big men. I seem to remember Nelson being quite successful with a power forward named Dirk Nowitzki who lived beyond the arc.

Furthermore, what does Randolph do best? To be exact it is a blend of shot blocking, rebounding and hustle points like put-backs. Now, if that skill set is moved out on the perimeter to guard small forwards, Randolph is now between 15 and 20 feet away from the area of the floor he is most effective. The tenacious defending of the rim? Gone. Flying above the opposition to slam home errant shots? Gone. Moving him outside the paint removes Randolph from the place he is at his best.

Ironically, Randolph’s speed is the final reason he should stay at the four. One of the reasons everyone is wowed by what he does is that the quickness and skills come in a lanky 6’11” package. But that exact package gives him an edge over other power forwards. Let us pretend the Warriors are facing the Houston Rockets. At small forward, Trevor Ariza will have a significantly easier time dealing with Randolph than teammate and power forward Luis Scola. It is Randolph’s perimeter quickness that gives him an advantage against interior players.

For sure, it will be interesting to see where his development takes him – at all of 20 years old the sky is seemingly the limit. But for the foreseeable future, at least, Randolph seems much better suited exploiting the physical advantages he has against the bigger bodies of the NBA.

Dr. Murphy out…

Friday, August 21, 2009

Who's your second favorite?

ESPN’s Truehoop recently ran an article in which they polled a network of blogs on who their second favorite team in the NBA is. All of the blogs polled are dedicated to a single organization and ESPN wanted to know who they watch when their team isn’t on.

While KC Sports Media Rant is slightly miffed at our exclusion from the poll, we might as well chime in anyways.

It should be noted that The Rant’s hoop squad of choice is the Golden State Warriors – who received an overwhelming response as a second favorite team of choice to many of the blogs.

But undoubtedly when the Dubs aren’t running the floor we tune our NBA League Pass to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The primary – and obvious – reason is the great collection of young talent. Year after year losing squads are handed lottery picks and continually blow them. A case in point is the Milwaukee Bucks who in back to back drafts took Yi Jianlain (publicly didn’t want to play there) and Joe Alexander (freak athlete, no basketball skill). But that is not the case for OKC.

The Thunder have capitalized on early picks in their recent drafts. They took Kevin Durant with the second pick in 2007 and also swung a trade for versatile glue-guy Jeff Green. The next year they scooped up UCLA product Russell Westbrook, who since has silenced all doubters about his point guard ability. Just 2 months ago Oklahoma City landed James Harden – a good decision maker, passer, and scorer. Throw in young guards Thabo Sefalosha and Kyle Weaver and you won’t find another younger backcourt with more upside anywhere in the league.

Certainly there are some missing pieces, like a post scorer and paint defender or two, but keep in mind OKC has plenty of money under the cap to play with in the coming famed free agency of 2010.

So knowing we can’t always watch our Warriors firsthand, the Thunder are the second team of choice at this blog. They don’t always grace national TV, but The Rant jumps at the chance to see Oklahoma’s young talent develop right before our eyes.

Dr. Murphy out…

***This week’s trivia – drop your guesses/answers in the comments section

Only three players in NBA history have averaged 2 steals and 2 blocks for an entire season. The first 2 were David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon. Who is the third? (it is an active player - think Eastern Conference and expansion draft)

***Last week’s answer: David Robinson was the 4th player to ever record a triple double when he put up 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks against the Detroit Pistons in 1994.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dr. Murphy uses Twatter.

First of all, I would like to apologize to Dr. Murphy. Through out the entire month of July I fell completely off the horse with this whole posting thing. Luckily the good Dr had the sense to keep the blog alive and made some ridiculously sick posts.

So, the trading deadline came and went, the royals did nothing. Do you know what the result of doing nothing is? It is the exact product that you had before. The Royals are still losing at an impressive rate and Kansas City has once again turned to football as their savior. For those of you who don't know, baseball season officially ends in July and the city ceases to care. (BTW while I am writing this the Los Royals are losing 7 - 1 to the A's in the top of the 4th. For those who aren't delusional like me, baseball is hopeless.)

But, as sure as fat kids eat cake, hope springs eternal is KC when Chiefs training camp starts. This year seems different to me though, primarily because Todd Haley is a bad ass and kicks pussy ass wide receivers off of the field. The Chiefs have become a no bullshit and ass kicking team. Scott Pioli is the mastermind and Todd Haley is the task master, and Todd loves it. He made Glenn Dorsey's fat ass sit out for 3(?) days and he doesn't take shit from anybody. None of the weak shit from coaches of the past is here. No fucking crying by an old man and no more pussy ass "players coaches".

New England has been the only organization to figure out that sports are a business and that's how they should be run. I like that the attitude has been brought to KC. To succeed and win you need to fill you business/team with reliable, talented and interchangeable parts. If one fails, you replace it with the next in line. It may take time to build your business but once its done you win and reap the benefits consistently. Sports are a business and business is cut throat. You either perform or you are gone. I like that.

"No more pussies on the team", should be the motto for the chiefs. Permanently.

*ESPN rumor central has the chiefs as one of the few teams looking at Vick.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Dr. Demands a Recount!

Far be it from me to just be blatantly pissed about something, but this cannot stand. As the NBA Las Vegas Summer League came to a close last week Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the camp’s MVP. I’ve talked about at length about the kind of disrespect the Warriors get, and this is just another example.

Without a doubt everything that happens in Summer League should be taken with a giant grain of salt. The games are unorganized and helter skelter, with many of the teams’ rosters filled with guys who may never see a second of action in the NBA. Thus being named MVP of something so elementary is not necessarily that big of an honor. However, Anthony Randolph took the league by force, thanks largely to a brutal summer workout routine, and has nothing to show for it. The numbers were there, the voters were not.

In looking at both Randolph and Griffin’s performances, how could it not have been the former? Golden State’s roster was littered with far more Summer League All Stars than the Clippers and Randolph still managed to lead the league with 26.8 points per game on 60 percent shooting – much greater than Griffin’s 19.2 points on 50 percent shooting. In slightly less minutes Randolph bested Griffin in free throw percentage (74 to 45), blocks and steals. He also had fewer turnovers. In the big picture, Randolph led Golden State to a 4-1 record while LA finished 2-3.

The only statistical category that Griffin “won” was rebounding, outgrabbing Randolph 10 to 8. But surely a 2 rebound differential doesn’t automatically garner MVP honors.

But the Clippers are hot right now. They nabbed a very, very good player by picking number 1 overall. They are also in a bigger market in LA, recently unloaded Zach Randolph’s monster deal, and have been involved in Allen Iverson talks.

In the grand scheme of things, this MVP award is not what will be remembered from Summer League. It will be recalled for Randolph’s development and posting of 3 consecutive 20-10 games preceding a 42 point outing. It also marked Blake Griffin’s first steps towards becoming the savior of the Clippers that everyone thinks he will be. But this tiny little MVP trophy matters to Golden State’s fans, who after enduring a brutal decade and a half of false hopes can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dr. Murphy out

***This week’s trivia - drop your guesses/answers in the comments section

Since the tracking of steals and blocks as a statistic 4 players in NBA history have netted a quadruple-double including Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon. The 4th player got it in February of 1994; who was it?

***Last week’s answer: Kenyon Martin was the last American-born college senior to be selected #1 overall in the NBA draft. The Nets picked him in 2000 out of the University of Cincinnati.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Madden Curse 2.0

Since the dawn of modern technology, one thing that has been synonymous with sports is video games. Short of actually making a pro roster, this is the closest fans can get to playing and managing a team in their sport of choice. From the Tecmo Bowl to Tiger Woods, sports addicts can find a way to virtually participate in pro sports.

Everybody under the sun has heard of the Madden Curse – lying in its wake are standout footballers such as Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Shaun Alexander and Marshall Faulk. However, there is another curse that has kept a much lower profile but has been equally as harmful to the cover athletes and their teams.

Said curse is linked to NBA games and their cover stars. Both the NBA Live and NBA 2K game franchises have indirectly led their spokesmen (and their teams) to disappointing seasons after their likeness was dawned on the games’ package. The following is a simple breakdown of the curse divided between the two games since their 2005 installments.

After winning a championship and Defensive Player of the Year with Detroit in 2004, Ben Wallace was featured on NBA 2K5. The curse effect was not immediate (he repeated as DPOY in 05) but nonetheless he has met injury woes and has yet to return to the finals. Big Ben was recently traded to the Suns, who are in the process of paying him to go away.

Shaquille O’Neal received back-to-back covers for NBA 2K6 and 2K7. Certainly well deserved as he brought a championship to Miami. However, the next season he was plagued by injuries, fouls and a diminished role. In addition, his run of 14 consecutive All-Star appearances ended and he was shipped to Phoenix. As a Sun in 2009 he failed to make the playoffs for the first time since he played in Orlando.

The NBA 2K8 and 2K9 athletes, Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett, had the curse strike their teams as much as the individuals. After a cover-worthy season the Hornets emerged as contenders in the West. However, they came up short. Paul finished second in MVP voting and the Hornets fell just shy of a Finals appearance. Since then New Orleans has been exposed as a team that relies solely on its two stars who have little to no help anywhere else in the lineup. Garnett’s case mirrors that of Chris Paul. He adorned the 2K9 cover after bringing Boston a championship. The next season though Garnett missed the entirety of the Playoffs as Boston failed to contend with the Orlando Magic.

The NBA video game curse does not stop with 2K Sports as the EA franchise NBA Live has seen a similar effect.

NBA Live 05 cover athlete Carmelo Anthony has never been hurt by the curse statistically, yet it was only the beginning of 5 years of consecutive first round playoff exits for the Nuggets (that they finally shook with the addition of Chauncey Billups – who has never been on either games cover). It was also followed by some controversy as Anthony was cited for marijuana possession, threatened Baltimore resident’s in a video, and was involved in an on-court fight with the Knicks.

The next 3 editions of the Live series (06, 07, and 08) brought up a classic Madden-esque scenario. After winning the championship and the cover, Dwyane Wade missed 62 games over the next 2 seasons while the Heat posted only 59 wins during that time. 07 cover athlete Tracy McGrady has missed 84 games since being featured (that number doesn’t include him missing the entirety of this year’s Playoffs).

Gilbert Arenas is undeniably the pinnacle of the NBA video game curse. He made the Live 08 cover in the summer of 2007 and has hardly picked up a basketball since. Nagging knee injuries and multiple surgeries have limited Agent Zero to a whopping 15 games since being on the cover of Live 08.

It will be interesting to see where the curse goes from here. Tony parker was only slightly affected as the cover of Live 09 (slight injury woes, 1st round playoff exit). The question begs, what will become of our upcoming ballers? Kobe (2K10) and the Lakers look locked in to repeat with Captain Ron onboard, yet have not come to terms with a new contract for X-factor Lamar Odom. Dwight Howard (Live 10) has the toughest road ahead of him; despite acquiring Vince Carter, the Magic will return next season without Hedo Turkoglu who arguably was their best player in this season’s unexpected Playoff run.

***Don’t forget about Trivia!! Drop your answer in the comments section.

Who was the last American-born college senior to be selected #1 overall in the NBA draft?

***last week’s answer: after playing together at North Carolina, Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter were selected 4th and 5th overall by the Raptors and the Warriors, then immediately traded for each other.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Revisiting the Media Debate, with Some Free Agency Sprinkles

Happy New NBA Fiscal Year!

Believe it or not the new NBA season has begun. David Stern and his crew are currently working on establishing the new salary cap figure which will dictate the exact monetary terms of soon-to-be-signed contracts. July 8th is the date to watch as all of the free agent rumors will begin to take some form of reality.

First, let’s circle back quickly to add to the previous discussion about how local media measures up to the national guys. The main issue is that one is not necessarily better or worse all the time. The heavy hitters like ESPN and TNT sometimes miss the green in reporting on less successful teams because they simply don’t see them that much. On other side of the coin, while the smaller local reporters are in constant contact with hometown franchises, their information isn’t always accurate as it is sometimes influenced by over-speculation and tainted with misinformation from agents. It’s sort of like David vs. Goliath – except Goliath isn’t even paying attention and David is getting duped by other shady biblical figures.

The main point to take from the entire issue is that the burden falls on readers and fans to seek out complete and accurate information on the organizations they follow. Which can be very difficult seeing as the average fan is on the outside looking in.

In other NBA media news – maybe a little late on this – Stephen A. Smith is no longer with ESPN. It was noticeable at the NBA draft, where Smith was absent from his usual duties of interviewing the green-room draftees after they were selected. As of May 1, 2009 he was officially “let go,” with the LA Times reporting that “[ESPN] decided to move in different directions.”

And on to off-season news and notes. I know this is the only site you use for breaking NBA news so be sure to check back throughout the summer for the latest in NBA player movement.

-the big name right now in free agency is Hedo Turkoglu. Orlando acquired Vince Carter, essentially paying for Turk’s ticket out of town. Portland thought they had bagged him when he suddenly skipped town for what is supposedly a much bigger contract in Toronto.

-the Piston’s are looking to retool. Rasheed Wallace is pretty much out the door and Detroit has reached verbal agreements with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

-the Lakers and Rockets have swapped forwards with Artest coming to terms with LA and Ariza on his way to Houston. Next up for the Lakers is to re-ink Lamar Odom.

-Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver hosed Utah’s salary cap by not opting out of their contracts. The Jazz still can match any offer to Paul Millsap, but now they have much less cash to work with.

-the Celtics have not made a qualifying offer to Leon Powe and are reportedly chasing Rasheed Wallace (who is also being courted by new Magic G/F Vince Carter).

-other free agency chatter from all over the web has David Lee looking at the Blazers, Grant Hill heading home to Orlando and Allen Iverson possibly ending up in Memphis. Other big names to watch are Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, Andre Miller, Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby.

***Gonna give some NBA trivia a try – with every article I will post a new question as well as the answer to the previous article’s question. Drop your answer in the comments section to prove how smart (or not-smart) you are. Here ya go…

In the 1998 draft the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors drafted 4th and 5th overall and after the selections immediately swapped the players. Who were those two players? (Hint: they were college teammates)

Dr. Murphy out

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The National vs. Local Media and a Golden State Case Study

One of the most interesting things about observing sports media (in my case the NBA media) is that the opportunity presents itself to look at the differences between national and local coverage. The Golden State Warriors, who have made a few national headlines recently, are an excellent case study of how two different mediums report on the same subject in contrasting ways.

Talk around Golden State’s draft centered mostly on the idea that they would send the 7th pick and a package of players to Phoenix in exchange for Amar’e Stoudemire. Of course anytime All-Star talent is being shopped, the media will jump all over it.

Actually, leap and lunge are probably more appropriate verbs. The ESPN bottom line was frequented with updates in addition to the Bay Area media funneling news to local fans. Now cue the inherent differences between the national giants and local outlets.

Many on the national stage theorized the best way for the Warriors to get the Amar’e deal finalized. They drooled over how Don Nelson would love the athletic big man. Recently on PTI, Mike Wilbon and Bob Ryan didn’t need more than a second to decide the deal would be great for the Warriors, attributing Biedrins supposed lack of upside and how Stephen Curry has yet to prove he is NBA-ready. The deal was met with far more skepticism in the Bay. Writers such as Ray Ratto, Bruce Jenkins and Monte Poole questioned Stoudemire’s health, willingness to sign an extension and his compatibility with the coaching staff. Same story – two very different sides.

KC Sports Rant recently had the opportunity to speak with a well known Bay Area sports journalist – who respectively wished to be anonymous – and examine more in depth how differently the local and national media cover teams who are either in small markets or are less frequent on ESPN airwaves (or both).

And the differences are distinct. Our guest attributed those differences primarily to not observing these teams as much as the local media does. According to the interviewee “the local media sees these people every day,” even getting the chance to travel with the team and players for the majority of the year. The guest went on to say that “unless these teams are in the playoffs, they don’t register.”

There are concrete examples of this. In the case of the Warriors, the national media has many misconceptions and cases of incorrect reporting. During the NBA Draft, viewers are thrown images and charts of various facts about each team. Included in these are projected starting lineups and key reserves. Our guest spoke about when those came up for the Warriors, Corey Maggette was listed in the starting lineup despite in reality being the 6th man for almost the entire season. Furthermore, he described to me how Ronny Turiaf was left out of the key reserves despite being “one of the better backup centers in the league.” Quite frankly these are things ESPN should know, yet because the Warriors were a 29 win team, the reporting on them was blatantly wrong.

Our interview led to talk of more inaccuracies of the Warriors by the national media. One being that “[Chris] Mullin was key figure in turning the franchise around.” Our guest explained to me that it was definitely not the case, citing examples of Mullin’s missteps including the hiring of Mike Montgomery and missing badly on two consecutive lottery picks in Ike Diogu and Patrick O’Bryant. Mullin was painted as a victim on the national stage when in reality did not have a satisfactory track record.

Our discussion then led to the Bay Area media and their coverage of the Warriors. As far as our guest is concerned, all of his reports are based on “well informed opinions” and he always makes the effort to “make sure [the material] is right.” The same can’t be said for everyone, as local media for any team is fed information by agents looking to benefit their clients. Some readers may have trouble distinguishing between what is factual and what is being manipulated by outside sources. I was told how readers “have to look at the motive” because a majority of theorizing by local writers can sometimes be complete fabrication by the writers themselves. “Everybody wants the scoop.”

In returning our attention to the national media I asked my guest who he thought of as the best members of the NBA national media. He was quick to say “lots of good ones out there,” listing off big time names such as Marc Stein, David Aldridge, Mike Breen, Ernie Johnson and the duo of Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins. While ESPN and its affiliates certainly don’t always get the story straight when it pertains to the Warriors, there are reporters out there who get the job done the right way.

Our interesting conversation led me to the conclusion that while the national and local media are very different, one is not necessarily always better than the other. The national media will blunder when underexposed to a team while the local guys tend to theorize slightly too much. In the end it is up to the readers to weed through all media to find the best and most accurate coverage of their team, no matter how small a market they are in or how unsuccessful that team may be.

Lastly, I did ask if our guest had been offered the opportunity to work on the national stage, and if so, why did he decline it? “I have been offered many opportunities” he said. However, it was the prospect of working directly with and being tied to one team that has kept his feet firmly planted in the Bay Area.

***A big thank you goes out to our guest for his contributions to this article and his insight into the vast idiosyncrasies of all levels of sports journalism.

Dr. Murphy out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Get No Respect (Rodney Dangerfield Voice)

After the disaster that was the last two posts I have decided to go back to what I feel I do best, which is to write candidly about the Royals.

Today los Royals lost again. They did so in routine fashion. Errors, zero offense and shaky bullpen again proved to be the recipe required for another loss. The one glimmer of hope that came out of the game today is that B Pena went 2-4 and continued his campaign to edge John "my only hits are HR's" Buck. Gil is now 4-8 and John Bale again proved he cannot get an out when it counts. I am honestly looking at the box score right now and can only see two players in the lineup who I can envision as being part of the future for the Royals (B But and B Pena). Nobody else in the lineup today looks or feels that of a winner or an important piece for the future. I would much see an entire new lineup of AAA players on this team than watch "major leaguers" lose like rookies everyday.

Which leads me to my next point: there is clearly a respect issue going on in the Royals clubhouse. The problem is that the players obviously don't respect a damn thing the coaching staff has to say. If they did, there wouldn't be the tremendous amount of errors accrued and the players would actually get down on themselves, then try to get better. There is no incentive or for that matter a repercussion for Billy Butler not to throw a ball into CF. Yea he is on TV for a second and probably feels stupid, but this guy has been playing baseball for 3/4ths of his life! Is Trey Hillman now going to let him get away with playing shitty because he is now in the bigs? I don't mean to pick on Billy (it was the last error I saw) because it goes for everyone on this team. Maybe Trey is a puss or maybe Trey is scared Jose Guillen's tiger is going to eat him, but there have to be consequences to playing like a douche. When there are no consequences players don't listen and try to get better.

I know why players don't respect Trey Hillman. All you have to do is watch him not argue a call that is blatantly wrong, in a one run game, with one of your best power hitters up, and realize that he doesn't want to win. Can you respect someone who doesn't want to win in a pro game?

In the next couple days we have a really awesome interview coming. Its a first for the blog and its brought to you by the Dr. Those Bay Area readers should get pumped.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Royals Trade Speculation Part 2

Ok, now its time for part 2 of my in depth analysis of the perspective trade pieces available for the royals. As I said before there are only 3 players I consider "untouchable", they being Zach, Joakim and Luke.

Now for the pitchers.

Gil Meche - Definitely the most valuable piece available for trade. Should the Royals decide to deal him, they can expect no less than 2 extremely talented prospects (hopefully a SS!). In my estimation it probably won't go over well with the fans, but long term it could provide dividends.

Kyle Davies - This is a tricky situation, the guy has got potential for sure, but we may never see it because of inconsistency. Under a previous regime he probably would have gotten more respect, but D Moore is no fool.

Brian Bannister - Banny could be the second most valuable pitcher the royals have to deal. On a better team is a solid 4 or 5 starter, a guy who can go 5 or 6 and keep you in the game. Playoff teams should be chomping at the bit for him. Expect a better than average prospect for Banny.

John Bale - Specialty lefty, not much to say.

Jamey Wright - Pitching way above his talent level. Probably not much of a market for him. He will eventually collapse.

Robinson Tejeda - Power arm that still needs more refinement. I would be surprised if he is shipped to a contender.

Ron Mahay - A usually solid lefty out of the pen who has struggled at times this year. Probably a weak market for an aging lefty who has trouble getting out lefties.

Juan Cruz - Right now Juan is a lost cause.

Roman Colon - Too speculative. Nobody bites on Roman.

Those not receiving consideration because they suck or are injured (you decide which): kyle farnsworth, bruce chen, Doug Waechter, Sid Ponson.


David DeJesus - De Jesus probably has the 3rd or 4th most trade value on the Royals. He plays above average defense and could help a playoff contender who needs a solid bat off of the bench. Another deal that won't please the fans, but expect a better than average prospect in return.

Jose Guillen - This guy is a joke for sure. After one season his legs have fallen apart and so has his bat. This could be one of the worst free agent deals ever in baseball. If anyone in the MLB is dumb enough to take him and his ridiculous salary the Royals should jump all over it.

Mitch Maier - Sorry Mitch, need more progression from you before you get any value.

Ok Boys and Girls, that's it for the Royals trade speculation. Feel free to leave comments or don't. Cuz that just like your opinion man.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Royals Trade Speculation Swirls, KC Star Is Still Inept.

Mad props to the Dr. for his great coverage of what seems to me to be the weakest NBA draft in a while. Anytime someone like psycho T gets drafted in the lottery, you know its whack. He just doesn't have any strengf or lengf.

There has been lots of trade speculation today about the Royals which is great! The fire sale of incompatible pieces and broken trades of the past is long overdue. This gives me a great chance to bless the world of Royals baseball with my thoughts and GMability. First I will do a run down of the speculation that has been swirling lately. I will preface this with the fact that I believe there are only 3 "untouchables" on the Royals: Zach Attack, Soria, and Cool hand Luke.

(Those who read the star probably don't know any of this because the Star only cares about pop-up ads.)

The Rumor Mill:

David DeJesus (you don't mess with De Jesus)- Multiple Teams
Mark Teahen - Multiple Teams
Gil Meche - Phillies
Kyle Davies - Multiple Teams
Brian Bannister - Phillies
The Entire Bullpen - MLB

I Agree with everything that is listed above. All of the players on that list need to get gone. The only player on that list that the Royals could retain any type of value for the Royals is Gil Meche, and that is only if he doesn't have a dead arm!

Now I will perform my highly biased and angry evaluation of an incompetent Royals roster. Let's start with the catchers.

Miguel Olivo - Miguel's time has come, he was brought in to be a part of a winning team and the Royals are not. He is sub par defensively and his bat only fits into a lineup that is capable of consistently driving in runs since he can't. He's got some pop and could help a potential playoff team.

Bryan Pena - No. No. No. Lunch Box is the royals catcher of the future. He's got a better bat and is better defensively than Olivo. Plus he looks like a catcher and that goes a long way in my book.

John Buck - Not sure what to do here since he is on the DL. Buck was always way over hyped and I have never really been a fan. No trade value since he is disabled.


Mark Teahen - Probably the player on the Royals with the most trade value. Can play every position on the field and swings a decent bat. There is no player I want moved more than Teahen. Teahen has been screwed by the Royals more than any other player and he deserves to know where he will play every day. Best fit would be with a playoff team who needs a guy that can play anywhere.

Tony Pena Jr - minimal trade value. Pure defensive back up. Possible pitcher? Little trade value.

Billy Butler and Alex Gordon - I decided to combine these two because they each need the same thing. A change of scenery and a stable system. Both of these players have been destroyed by the shittiness of the previous regime in the Royals organization. It may hurt to watch them go, but its probably best for both parties. Trade value is probably decent prospects in high minors for both. No playoff will be willing to give up prospects for these two. Likely trade is with another bottom feeder.

Al Callaspo - Glad he's sober this year. Only bat that has hit for the Royals. Trade value is as a pinch hitter for a playoff team.

Willie Bloomquist - Not sure why they signed ol' Willie. Pretty sure the Royals could lost games with out him. Has good trade value though since he can play all over. Best fit is probably with a playoff pretender.

Aviles - Lost cause. One year wonder. No trade Value.

Mike Jacobs - This guy could be a another lost cause if he can't figure his shit out. Guys who strike out and don't hit home runs usually retire in the minor leagues.

Tomorrow we will recap pitchers and outfielders. Just got word that Jose Guillen
will not make an error today or tomorrow. HE ISN'T PLAYING!!!!!

Hasta Luego.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 NBA Draft Roundup with the Dr.

I wanted to wait a few days to let the draft marinate and observe the fallout. Here is a recap with various notes and tidbits.

***Any readers out there are encouraged to drop by the comments section and blast my spotty mock draft, or the T’Wolves decision to draft 16 point guards.

-My mock draft was all over the place: the most notable wiff was pegging Stephen Curry to the Thunder with the 3rd pick (VERY glad I was wrong) but I will pat myself on the back for nailing Earl Clark to the Suns at 14 and Jeff Teague to Atlanta at 19.

-Jeff Van Gundy was surprisingly well behaved while I’m not sure what Mark Jackson was thinking when he said that Shaq does not make Cleveland better. Shaq put up around 17 and 8 last season – only Mo Williams and LeBron had better scoring numbers for the Cavaliers and Shaq in the starting lineup makes Big Z one the most experienced back-ups in the league.

-Minnesota GM David Kahn has written an open letter to all Wolves fans explaining their draft day strategy – that sounds to me like a guy who is insecure with his work so far.

-I really enjoy the fact that the NBA is a stage for the best players in the world to compete; however, it is ludicrous that foreign players can weigh their overseas contracts against their new American teams if that team happens to be in an awful market. The Timberwolves have the draft rights to Rubio for 3 years, if he doesn’t want to play for them and decides to head back to Europe he should have to stay there for those 3 years. It’s not like Jonny Flynn can threaten to go back to college…

-The general consensus seems to be that Stephen Curry will not be a part of the Stoudamire deal with Phoenix. And to save you some reading, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Hoopsworld and RealGM all LOVE the pick (a strange feeling for Warriors fans).

-The second round of the draft is twice as boring as the first round is interesting. In case you missed it, notable draft day slides were DeJuan Blair to San Antonio (37th overall), Chase Budinger through Detroit to Houston (44th overall) and Nick Calathes to Dallas (45th overall).

-Jay Bilas is great guy to provide commentary during the draft because he legitimately knows EVERY prospect… But why is Stu Scott hosting the thing in the first place? I’ll take Mike Tirico or Dan Shulman over him any day.

Lastly, I hope everyone enjoyed the live-blogging and chit chat. Stay tuned for more rants and coverage of what is shaping up to a very busy offseason.

The day to mark your calendars is July 8th when the new NBA year kicks off with trades, free agents and much more!

Dr. Murphy out

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Live-blogging the draft

Okay so yours truly Dr. Murphy going to give this liveblogging thing a shot...

I'll check in during most of the picks in the first round and if your watching it too feel free to drop some comments on anything draft related. In the meantime check out the mock draft below and create your own at

***Note: all times Mountain Standard Time

Noon update: wow how did I miss putting Darren Collison in the first round? I think if he is available he will get a serious look from the Knicks at 29 (who just purchased the pick from the Lakers).

3:35 update: The Nets just completed a multiplayer deal with the Magic sending Vince Carter to Orlando and receiving, among others, Rafer Alston. This is probably a sign New Jersey won't go with a guard tonight so I'd look for them to take a versatile forward like Terrence Williams or James Johnson.

4:40 update: Anyone else getting the feeling this day is going to center more around potential trades than the actual draftees themselves? And good news, my take-n-bake draft pizza is officially in the oven.

5:05 tidbit: Look out for Jonny Flynn's post selection interview, he has a past tendency of referring to himself in the 3rd person. And my pizza is now out of the oven, draft in 25 minutes!

5:06 trade note: Rick Bucher reporting the Warriors have offered the 7th pick, Andris Biedrins, Marco Belinelli and Brandan Wright to the Suns for Amare Stoudamire... stay tuned

5:15 final PRE-draft update: I feel like my mock draft will end up like my March Madness brackets... look really good in my head at the time, but as the event nears seems more and more flawed! Draft in a couple minutes, I'll check back in after the first pick

1st pick, LA Clippers - By far David Stern's best draft opening. By the way, if it takes the Clippers 5 minutes to make this pick they should be fined for taking so much of our time.

2nd pick, Memphis Grizzlies - I like Thabeet for Memphis, don't love it, but every team needs a paint protector. I'm anxious to see if my prediction of Curry to OKC makes me look really smart or really dumb.

3rd pick, OKC Thunder - Well... really dumb, but Harden is great. Why would they have wanted to move Westbrook off the ball anyways?

Shout out to LSU Tigers baseball!!! My pick from the begining!

4th pick, Sactown Kings - what happened to all the supposed trades? Would have liked to see Evans in Golden State, ho hum.

5th and 6th picks, T'Wolves - when a player gets drafted by Minnesota or Milwuakee, are they pissed? Nice young talent starting to be built on that roster though. Can we just get to the Warriors pick?
But on the real, 2 quality points guards, but will be interesting to see if either get moved. Curry or DeRozan might have worked there.

7th pick, Oaktown Eastbay City Warriors - Steph Curry SWIPED from the Knicks!! nice pick, nuff said, Monta with a long ball and better passing skills. He could be packaged later though...

8th pick, New York Knicks - Okay I'm calling it now, Knicks and Warriors swap picks, then the Dubs get their guy but pay him less.

9th pick, Raptors/10th pick, Bucks - DeMar eh? Raptors get a little potential boost and hopoefully a reason for Chris Bosh to stay. As for the Bryan's favorite team the Bucks get the Italian, Brandon Jennings.

A little surprised Holiday is still on the board, that was my guy. Shows what I know I guess...

11th pick, New Jersey Nets - TWill is apparently a little awkward, i.e. watches Sponge Bob habitually and just all around wacky. Good pick though.

12th pick, Bobcats - that makes me look really dumb, I had him going late 1st round. Should give Charlotte some nice all around play off the bench.

13th pick, Indiana Pacers - Jerry Sloan is pissed! Tell me Hansbrough wouldn't have been perfect for the Utah Caucasians!

14th pick, Suns - Giving myself a pat on the back for placing Clark to the Suns. Nailed it.

I am still shocked that Holiday is on board right now, but honestly Daye being in the green room seems a little bit of a stretch.

15th pick, Pistons - and of course there he goes. Do not hire me as a GM.

WOW!! Dickie V making the early Stephen Curry Rookie of the Year call, thats gonna take some compromise from Big Don

16th pick, Bulls/17th pick, Philly 76ers - James Johnson has a nice fluid and long game that should help the Bulls when Tyrus Thomas heads to the bench. I don't know what it is but Holdiday has been on my radar since December, good steal here.

And thank you Steve Kerr for displaying the art of dodging trade questions.

****Warriors/Suns trade update: Marcus Thompson II and Tim Kawakami reporting that the Suns are in love with Steph Curry, interesting tidbit to store.

18th pick, T'Wolves - 3 picks, 3 point guards. However, former Mercury News journalist Rick Bucher reporting this pick will be moved to the pick-less Nuggets.

19th pick, Atlanta Hawks/20th pick, Utah Jazz - Taking Teague and acquiring Crawford could all be indications that Bibby may not be resigned this summer. Maybe Eric Maynor can be the missing piece to get Jerry Sloan that first Coach of the Year award.

21st pick, Hornets - Wow I completely undervalued this guy, good for him and Hornets really needed some help for CP3.

So the Blazers moved up 2 spots to get this pick so they are specifically targeting someone, off the top of my head maybe Blair, Young, or Casspi?

22nd pick, Blazers - good pick because he can develop overseas for no dough, the Blazers have enough young talent now so they can store him abroad and bring him over when he's ready.

Interesting that Blair is still here

23rd pick, Kings/24th pick, Mavericks - Casspi should come over right away, he apparently is a really gritty and tough player - not a typical attribute of the foreign dudes. BJ Mullens is a good pick up and compliment to Dirk, Eric Dampier doesn't have many more miles in him.

25th pick, OKC Thunder - Rodrigue Who? Looks like the Mavs are swapping BJ Mullens with this guy to store him overseas.

26th pick, Bulls - Taj Gibson is really under rated, an athletic four off the bench is always great. It's a little bit of a duplication of James Johnson though, just less skilled.

27th pick, Grizzlies - great pick to get an energy guy that gives you a little length and rebounding... But why take him when DeJuan Blair is still on the board?

28th pick, T'Wolves - Another pick!? Not a point guard!? Minny really loading up on their backcourt.

29th pick, Lakers picking for the Knicks - gotta love the Knicks fans' reactions to getting Darko, actually not an awful deal for the Knicks in my opinion. Toney Douglas is a nice defending guard for the offense-happy Knickerbockers.

30th pick, Cleveland LeBrons - The Shaq acquisition overshadows this pick a little bit, especially being that I have zero clue who that is.

Well thats it for our coverage as the 2nd round is generally filled with future D-leaguers and Euros. An interesting note however is that DeJuan Blair and Chase Budinger are still on the board.
Thanks for sticking around and be sure to check back in a few days for a little draft recap action.
Stay up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Confused about the NBA draft? Dr. Murphy has your remedy.

Okay, I know I slammed mock drafts a couple weeks ago but this was just too tempting! I made these picks based on what I’ve read everywhere combined with the situations and roster needs of the teams selecting them. Each pick also has a little further explanation. ESPN has a great application for fans and aspiring GMs, so log on to create your own and then follow along Thursday night.

1. LA Clippers – Blake Griffin (F, Oklahoma): Nuff said.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet (C, Connecticut): As the saying goes “you can’t teach 7 feet.” However, this pick is being heavily shopped – if the T’Wolves or Knicks are able to get to this spot I’d expect Rubio or someone else are selected.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Stephen Curry (G, Davidson): I’m not one of those who believe the Thunder really want to move Westbrook off the ball permanently. They are high on Curry who can play on and off the ball, allowing Westbrook to spend the majority of his time at the point.

4. Sacramento Kings – Ricky Rubio (G, Spain): OKC helps out the Kings who snag the smartest point guard in the draft with a rare combination of experience and upside.

5. Minnesota T’Wolves – James Harden (G, Arizona State): Fills in the scoring load vacated by Miller in the recent trade.

6. Minnesota T’Wolves – Tyreke Evans (G, Memphis): Big, versatile guard in the mold of Randy Foye who had a nice season in Minny last year as a combo guard.

7. Golden State Warriors – Jordan Hill (F, Arizona): Golden State has made some attempts to bring in a non-rookie guard so it looks like the Warriors will go big and word on the street is they were going to take Jordan Hill anyways.

8. New York Knicks – Brandon Jennings (G, Italy): Probably the best system and coach for Jennings who brings a little star power to the big apple.

9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan (G/F, USC): DeRozan is a young, athletic swingman going to a team that really needs one.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn (G, Syracuse): He can probably play right away and would see quality time as Sessions backup (assuming he is resigned this summer).

11. New Jersey Nets – Jrue Holiday (G, UCLA): Maybe an unrealistic draft day slide, but Holiday would give the Nets a decent guard to spell Devin Harris.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Terrence Williams (G, Louisville): Apparently Williams blew Larry Brown away in a workout last week.

13. Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor (G, VCU): Best point guard available.

14. Phoenix Suns – Earl Clark (F, Louisville): Tall, versatile and speedy forward should pair well with Stoudamire and the fast-paced Suns.

15. Detroit Pistons – James Johnson (F, Wake Forest): The Pistons are hoping Clark falls to them but Johnson is the next best athletic forward left on the board.

16. Chicago Bulls – DeJuan Blair (F, Pittsburgh): Chicago picks up a bulky, physical forward in the mold of Leon Powe.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson (G, North Carolina): A proven winner, the speedy guard would help the 76ers keep up the pace they started to play with at the end of last season.

18. Minnesota T’Wolves – Austin Daye (F, Gonzaga): After getting a guard earlier it makes sense to pick up a young swingman with plenty of potential.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague (G, Wake Forest): Teague gives you the best point guard available who can also score.

20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough (F, North Carolina): It just makes sense.

21. New Orleans Hornets – B.J. Mullens (C, Ohio State): With Tyson Chandler apparently on the block Chris Paul needs someone to throw alley-oops to.

22. Portland Trailblazers – Omri Casspi (F): A tough, athletic 3 that may develop overseas for a year or two.

23. Sacramento Kings – DaJuan Summers (F, Georgetown): A versatile shooter in Summers will make the bench a little bit deeper in Sacramento.

24. Dallas Mavericks – Gerald Henderson (G, Duke): This is probably Henderson’s floor and if he lands here could eventually fill the role that Jerry Stackhouse had a couple years ago.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chase Budinger (G, Arizona): Gives OKC some quality perimeter shooting off the bench.

26. Chicago Bulls – Toney Douglas (G, Florida State): A good defender and developing scorer with experience is welcome at this this stage in the draft.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Sam Young (F, Pittsburgh): With this pick Memphis can get a gritty forward to spell Rudy Gay.

28. Minnesota T’Wolves – DeMarre Carroll (F, Missouri): After getting a 1 and a 3 they now can grab the best big man available.

29. LA Lakers – Nick Calathes (G, Florida): LA nabs a large guard that will develop overseas and off the books.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Taj Gibson (F, USC): Solid and experienced, plus the Cavs really need someone other than Ben Wallace to chase around Rashard Lewis. Jonas Jerebko is another possibility here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trey Hillman Should Be Fired.

Does anyone still celebrate Zach Greinke day besides Sam Mellinger?

True to themselves the boys in blue have returned to their notorious form. Poor fundamentals, bad defense, hanging sliders, missed cut off men(entire outfield) and meatball fastballs. Just ask the Cardinals and the baseballs that ended up in the fountains how the weekend went.

This team was built on the predication that everything had to be done perfectly with average talent to win. They would play defense, pitch with a philosophy, move runners and win. Don't get me wrong, average teams can win, if they do all of those things. The worst part of the Royals inability to do all of those things is that we supposedly have a small ball guru. Hillman is supposed to be the one that preaches good defense, moving runners and pitching with a philosophy.

So I guess my question is, what good is a manager who can't motivate his players to do the fundamentals? Either the players on this team are much worse than we originally thought they were or there is clearly a problem with the manager.

I have never been a fan of Trey Hillman, this blog is now calling for him to be fired. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to hit the cutoff man, and clearly Trey is having problems with that.

Can the Star please write something interesting about the Chiefs? JFC I don't even care if they make it up. No wonder they are firing everyone over there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dr. Murphy is in town. I am hung over.

NBA Season in Review: Bottom half of the league struggles for the spotlight

The last month and a half or so has given basketball fans a very frequent and close look at the top echelon of teams and players in the NBA. While not everyone that graced the playoffs with their presence put up a great fight, they nonetheless were presented the opportunity to strut their stuff on the national stage. My only problem: these were the same exact squads that have dominated the airwaves of ESPN, TNT and ABC since late October.

It’s no secret to any basketball enthusiast that this season’s nationally televised matchups almost always consisted of a combination of the title contending Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers and Spurs playing the playoff ready troops of the Hornets, Rockets, Mavericks, Jazz, Pistons and Magic. What that boils down to is interchangeable games of the division winners mixed with the Southwest Division rivals. I understand these are generally the more competitive matchups, but it only compounds the disrespect, arrogance and ignorance the national NBA media has toward smaller market teams or those teams with less star power. That is the biggest problem, not only does the national media ignore these teams, but their poorness of reporting on them is enhanced by lack of air time.

Let’s take the Golden State Warriors for example. 2 years ago the Dubs were the darling of the league, playing an entertaining brand of basketball and ousting the first seeded Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. Their fall from grace has cost them serious national TV time despite the fact their style has not changed. Warriors games mean lots of scoring both ways (per game they were second in the league while surrendering a league high on the defensive end) and sure entertainment, yet only 7 nationally aired games were thrown their way. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks – who have been on a continual slide downward since losing to Miami in the finals in 2006 – appeared on national TV 19 times.

It is not just TV time that should have fans of non-playoff teams upset. Using the Warriors example again, it is increasingly hard to find any love for them in the national news and even multimedia. When pressed in chat-rooms about Golden State’s roster issues, ESPN analysts frequently ignore any talk of the players themselves and bring up annoying front office issues. Fans looking for answers regarding the team are often met with a response of “they will never be any good until the owner sells the team” – how helpful. Even worse is the reporting of details on individual story lines. Many times Monta Ellis’ Moped accident was reported as an ATV or motorcycle crash - so not only do Bay Area fans not get to see their team on TV, they aren’t even getting the correct news. As the icing on the cake, many basketball video games (trust me, real fans play this stuff) don’t even get names right – for the record, Monta is pronounced Mon-tay not Mon-tuh and Azubuike is Azu-bookie not Azu-bweekay.

While some of these rants may sound petty, this is the result of mass disrespect in the national media. Local broadcasters, reporters and radio personalities are able to look past front office issues, get reports right and at minimum correctly pronounce the names of the athletes, so why can’t the national guys do it? ESPN calls its staff reporters yet I find it difficult to respect them as journalists when they can only accurately cover teams that make the conference finals. I can guarantee that any fan of a small market or less competitive team can relate to this.

To end on a good note: having 90 percent of the Warriors games on local broadcast is not always a bad thing as they are covered by a group that is more informed and knowledgeable than anyone you will ever see on ESPN or ABC.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do You Know What ESPN Means? Dr. Murphy Does.

A couple of questions… Just for clarification, what time of year is it? Late spring/early summer, right? That’s what I thought. So did ESPN get the memo?

In the name of everything holy in basketball and baseball, would ESPN please change their afternoon lineup?! Anyone unemployed, on summer break or just happen to be in front of their TV from noon and beyond (that’s all three for me) will realize just how irrelevant afternoon viewing is on the Entertainment Sports Programming Network.

First, a rundown of what is really happening in sports. The NBA Finals are in full tilt while the draft looms, the MLB is in the swing of things, the underrated College World Series is shaping up to be a good one and the Stanley Cup Finals matchup just went to seven games.

Now, with that in mind, why in the wide world of sports is ESPN giving us daily installments of College Football Live and NFL Live with no sight of anything related to hoops or baseball? College Football Live has spent each of its recent episodes covering college ball in different states. I recently had lunch while viewing the best college games in the history of the state of Oregon. And this is interesting how? To add to the pain after that, NFL Live generally fills its half hour spot with updates on Brett Favre (anyone outside Minnesota care about that?) and how each teams’ OTAs are going.

None of that is relevant to what is happening in the sports world right now. Where is my NBA Fastbreak and Baseball Tonight? Don’t get me wrong, I like college and pro football – but I prefer to hear about it during football season.

Here’s an interesting thought: make Mayne Street a full half hour show to replace College Football Live and alternate media on the NBA and MLB to take over NFL Live.

PTI and Around the Horn are still quality afternoon shows; it’s just too bad they are preceded by the irrelevancy of football commentary in June.

Quick NBA Finals note: anyone getting sick of Jeff Van Gundy? Any broadcaster too scared to pick a winner in a series because his brother coaches one of the teams should not be broadcasting in the first place. It is a crime that they have imprisoned Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico on ESPN Radio.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trey Hillman is like an Idiot Savant, without the Savant

That title is a little harsh, but I thought it was funny so I decided to use it anyway. Seriously though, Jamey Wright again? I know Juan Cruz got the loss tonight but jeez, Jamey on a minor deal, loses it again. I digress.

I have to give major props to Dayton Moore tonight. I know some of his moves since he arrived in KC have been questionable, but tonight solidified my belief that he actually knows what he's doing. Tonight at the MLB draft, Dayton stuck to his guns and did what he said he was going to do. He drafted the best player on the board, regardless of signability. Not only did he draft the best player on the board, he drafted the player who is possibly the second most MLB ready player. Most are projecting that Aaron Crow(e)(?) will arrive in KC within 2 years.

For those fans who care only for the superficial, this is probably yet another move that doesn't make much sense to you. Moore is building KC baseball from the ground up, not the top down, the latter of which is what most fans like to see. It sounds cliche, but it is a process and KC was so decimated when Moore arrived, that the task will take years.

The trades for Jacobs, Gathright, Crisp and Davies were all superficial moves to keep the club on life support while the kids develop. In my mind, Dayton never really wanted to accomplish anything with those moves other than keeping people interested. With one hand trading, the other has been drafting high picks (and signing them!), increasing scouting, and building one of the most robust Latin American operations in baseball.

The seeds of Dayton Moore's labor will eventually bear fruit. And when it does it will be nice, (borat voice) very nice.

I just hope that the bandwagon doesn't decide to get rid of Dayton before he builds his dynasty. BTW, after the loss tonight, is there anyone left on it?m

Friday, June 5, 2009

alsdfkjaslfdjasldjfasld AAHHHHH!!


6/4/09 Royals lose again. In the bottom of the 8th. On a meatball fastball.

Even though today is Greinke Day, the entire Royals Organization is so frustrating that this entire post may just be verbal diarrhea.

Trey Hillman: Fuck me man, what are you doing?? You have Farnsworth, Cruz, and Soria in the pen to win a game, but you bring in JAMEY WRIGHT?! Jamey Wright pitched well in the earlier part of the year but is clearly struggling. While Farnsworth has pitched how many scoreless innings? I would rather lose a game with a guy who has a 95+ fastball than a dude who now throws sinkers that don't sink. At least you could have brought our ALL - STAR closer in. Don't give me that bullshit about him not being ready....if he wasn't ready he should not have come off the DL. Is it that fucking hard?

I'm starting to curse too much so this post is almost over, but I can't for the life of me understand why the media isn't all over this! The ineptitude of the Star amazes me.

Can Scott Pioli and Todd Haley come run the Royals? At least they make me feel like they know what they are doing.

Any One Left on the Bandwagon?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

so if you don't care about the NBA are some thoughts on the draft by Dr. Murphy

With all but 2 of the NBA’s teams eliminated from title contention let’s shift attention to the NBA draft. The long layoff between playoff rounds has allowed the media to take over the draft frenzy. Prospect measurements, interviews, team workouts and everything else are made available for the league’s fans to scrutinize and debate. However there is one thing that reigns over all else when it comes to draft speculation…the MOCK DRAFT – everyone is doing it, we are all reading it.

Just about the only thing anyone agrees on is that the Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the first overall pick. After that, it’s a crapshoot. ESPN’s Chad Ford has picks 2 through 5 going Hasheem Thabeet, Ricky Rubio, Jrue Holiday and James Harden, respectively. Meanwhile, according to Sports Illustrated those same picks are Ricky Rubio, James Harden, Tyreke Evans and Jordan Hill. Not only are they in a different order but 2 new players have emerged!

It only seems more clueless after that. has Golden State taking Tyreke Evans while Dime Magazine suggests them selecting Brandon Jennings at that slot. Detroit Pistons fans looking for clarity on will find 4 different mocks with them taking 4 different players: Austin Daye, Jonny Flynn, B.J. Mullens and James Johnson – none of which even play the same position. All of the aforementioned sources can’t even agree on a consensus 2nd pick between Thabeet and Rubio. How is this helpful?

At this point the NBA media begins to lose a little bit of credibility. While good intentioned, these mock drafts only add to the speculation. So much of sports media is guessing anyways, but the NBA draft is the pinnacle of it. All you can do is make your own guess and hang on for the ride.

Mark your calendars: NBA Draft, June 25th, 7 PM EST

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

&%#(@* Damn Royals

Contrary to the title of this post, do not blame the Royals for letting you down. Remember that post I made a little while ago? The one about the Royals being a bandwagon baseball town? Well, that status goes for the sports media of KC also, not just the fans.

The recent slide by the Royals has thrust the shit light back upon them. The prognosticators have fallen off of their playoff horses and begun slinging it on the boys in blue. What happened to the playoff hopes spewed forth by 610 and 810? What happened to Sam Mellinger blowing loads over Kevin Seitzer's hitting approach? Which leads me to my point:

Kevin Seitzer and Trey Hillman are destroying any shot the Royals have at being successful. I know that the media put Trey on blast earlier this year and that ruffled George Brett's ridiculously drunken feathers, but where is the blast for Kevin Seitzer? This dude has turned the team's average at best offense into a basement dweller. I know he runs an overrated baseball program for over privileged Leawood kids with the Mac attack, but when did that make him qualified to be a MAJOR BATTING INSTRUCTOR? If 810 weren't so busy stroking itself for being the biggest radio station nobody listens to, maybe they would figure this out.

In my mind any success the Royals have this season will be directly attributed to them NOT listening to Trey Hillman or Kevin Seitzer.

*The Chris and Cowboy show on 610 is sometimes reasonable, that being said, Chris Hamblin(?) stated the other day that a team under .500 could win the central. Food for thought on the KC media.

Bandwagon at Best.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kobe vs. LeBron + A Double Post from the Dr.

I am speaking on behalf of all sports fans out there who hate seeing the media focus solely around one or two of the players in their game: I am sick of the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James discussion. Yes I know it’s the playoffs and they both endorse Nike and they are each ridiculously good – but c’mon, there surely must be better things to talk about right now (maybe the fact that each of their teams are being pushed to the brink in these playoffs?).

But don’t worry; the discussion can now be put to rest.

The media loves to focus on stats – heck, who doesn’t – but when you talk about the greatest players in the game those get thrown out the window. The media also likes to focus on completely irrelevant items like our friends at ESPN did recently. The network polled its NBA analysts and columnists to see whether Kobe or LeBron had the best nicknames and commercials, who would be a better soccer of football player, and who would win a spelling bee. All interesting stuff to read, but comes nowhere close to answering the question at hand.

But there can only be one thing that speaks directly to all-time greatness in the National Basketball Association. Rings. Kobe has three; LBJ has none – end of discussion.

Throw out the fact that Kobe played with Shaq, it’s not like LeBron plays with a bunch of clowns (reminder: Mo and Big Ben are former All Stars, the latter being a four time DPOY). The bottom line is the Kobe has stood next to David Stern at the end of the finals three times, and three times hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy above his head.

This is not to undermine LeBron’s ridiculous skills on the court, or the fact that LeBron will eventually get that ring. But for today, tomorrow, and this very second, it’s all Kobe. Sorry media, discussion over.

-Dr. Murphy


Two weeks ago “Pardon the Interruption” guest host Dan Le Batard told Mike Wilbon that he thought this year’s NBA Playoffs were boring – he was uninterested, had not seen anything that impressed him, and overall didn’t really think “amazing” was happening.

No big deal, right?

Wrong. I didn’t think much of his statement at first, but the more it boiled in my head, the more I began to disagree. This year’s playoffs are not only very good but also have presented interesting story lines that have contributed to such things as the Celtics-Bulls series breaking national TV audience records. The reasons are as follows…

The changing of the guard:
Probably the most obvious. The 2009 Playoffs have seen teams once considered longtime contenders fall at the hands of younger teams finally making a splash in the post-season. The Spurs (doesn’t it feel like they’ve made the playoffs every year since they joined the NBA in 1976?) were ousted in the first round by a Dallas team that was then run through by the red-hot Denver Nuggets. The same Denver team easily dispatched a Hornets squad that only one year ago was contending for a spot in the finals. The same could be said for the Jazz

On the eastern side of the playoff bracket the hyper-athletic Hawks defeated a Miami team only three years removed from a championship. The sweet shooting Magic toppled the defending champs in the second round and now hold a 3-1 series lead over the first seed Cavaliers. Also, the perennially contending Pistons were swept by the Cavaliers.

High octane offense:
The casual NBA fan is not in favor of defensive battles. They want to see scoring in bunches, long threes, and highlight reel dunks – and that is exactly what they are getting this post-season.

LeBron is scoring almost a point per minute at 36 a game. Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony aren’t far behind with 29 and 27 points per game, respectively. Ben Gordon hit over 30 twice on a bad leg. Dwight Howard is even getting in on the action, dunking and free throwing his way to over 20 a game.

Team scoring is up too. Denver tops 110 points per game against a Lakers opponent that gets themselves 102. Chicago averaged 108 against the defending champs. Even Cleveland and Orlando are nearing 100 per contest.

The stars are shining bright:
People don’t pay to watch Ben Wallace play spot minutes and defend Dwight Howard. They want to see the premier players on each team go at each other, and it is exactly what the audience is getting. LeBron is getting ridiculous numbers while receiving absolutely no help. Orlando’s forward combo of Turkoglu and Lewis has delivered in the clutch while Dwight Howard is busy tearing down shot clocks. Kobe turns it on in the fourth quarter every night. Carmelo Anthony is finally living up to his billing, even garnering praise from Mr. Big Shot himself Chauncey Billups. Early on fans got to see Rajon Rondo inhale triple doubles with Paul Pierce being as clutch as ever.

Every game in these playoffs the road team threatens to steal home court. Every night someone hits a game changing shot in crunch time. And as it stands right now, nobody (sorry Mo Williams) can guarantee who will actually make it to the final stage.

You know what Dan Le Batard, the playoffs this year are exciting, interesting, thrilling, (insert superlative here), maybe you just need to watch.

-Dr. Murphy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Truth is in the House

The G - Force performed like a Cy Young pitcher last night and that makes me happy. So tonight I am going to relinquish to the Truth. Enjoy.

There are some things that are undisputed facts. Like them or not, these truths can be agreed upon by a universal audience. Rules like; spicy mustard only helps a bratwurst’s taste, KC becomes unbearably hot and muggy during August, Tony G was the greatest thing to happen to the Chiefs in the last decade and a half, or that the P&L district is hurting itself in this economy by being so overpriced. Another statement few in Kansas City would dispute is that Kevin Kietzman’s radio show on sports radio 810 is a black hole of bad afternoon radio. Kietzman epitomizes everything that is wrong with the sports radio scene in Kansas City, and what’s worse is that people have been letting him get away with it for years.

Sure to be entertaining in the sports media world the person with the mike must tip-toe the line between news reporting and their opinion (which might spark controversy by being edgy or against the norm). But there is a difference between being edgy and being blatantly biased and overwhelmingly stupid. A retarded cross eyed monkey could do Kietzman’s job.

Kansas City has a terrible sports radio scene. KCSP, or 610 Sports, has a boring line up featuring the annoying Nick Wright, and the bland Neil and Mary. The Chris and Cowboy show is a bright spot on an otherwise boring line up, the smart kid on the short bus if you will. Kietzman makes them all look worthy of a Nobel Prize in journalism. His reporting is so awful you can’t take him at fact. While he butchers commentary on the Royals and Chiefs issues quite often, he puts his foot in his mouth the most often when talking about the Kansas Jayhawks.

With the sad state of our professional sports franchises (which will take plenty of column space down the line), the only thing respectable in Kansas City is the college sports scene, and listening to Kietzman talk about it makes my blood boil. On the court the Jayhawks are the only team good enough to garner national media coverage, and Bill Self has taken the proud traditional powerhouse to a new level of success. Kietzman is a bitter K-State alumni unwilling to admit this. Missouri and Kansas State are both on the up and up in college basketball though, creating plenty to talk about with top recruits in Manhattan and deep tournament runs in Columbia. Mike Anderson and Frank Martin are both studs who have turned nothing into something, and both deserve respect on the local scene.

With a clown like Kietzman covering Big 12 basketball local fans will never get the honest reporting and analysis they deserve. What should be a great story becomes a huge joke when Keitzman opens his mouth. It’s a shame and an embarrassment that he’s still on the airwaves. If Petro didn’t share his airwaves I’d tell you to take 810 off your dial. And if the fried mushrooms weren’t so delicious at the 810 zone I’d tell you to boycott his restaurant too.

- The Truth

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kansas City is not a baseball town. I repeat: Kansas City is not a baseball town. Every day I hear some flatulent old man calling into a sports radio show remembering the glory days of KC Baseball and saying that is a baseball town and will always be. Well I hate to break it to the viagra generation, but this town no longer cares about baseball.

Case and point: I have never seen a playoff game in my life. Do I need to repeat? I'm not even talking about a World Championship here. All I'm saying is that I have never even seen an insignificant playoff game. Not even a play in game because of a tie! (Please refer to my profile for approximate age.) A whole generation is growing up with out the Royals winning, why on Earth would we care about baseball?

Some characteristics of a baseball town:

A. Most people can name at least two starting pitchers and maybe a handful of position players.

2. People care passionately when they lose.

III. Even when they lose or are in a losing season, at least half of the stadium is full.

D. Their team makes the playoffs every once in a while.


Now, I care about the Royals more than most people and in no way am saying that what we should give up on them or that we can never become a baseball town again. The way to make this town a baseball town again is to consistently put a quality product on the field and make people care. What I'm saying is that the media and the geezers of Kansas City need to get off of their high horses and come back to reality on this issue.

Kansas City is not a baseball town. A bandwagon town at best.

Monday, May 25, 2009

First Post

Why does the KC Star always find out information 8 hours after ESPN does? Are there not people at the star whose entire career is based on reporting the relevant news regarding the chiefs/royals?

Specifically I refer to the Matt Cassell trade. I remeber sitting at work, perusing espn and seeing in the rumor section that the trade might be ready to go down. Immediately I looked to to find some more insight on the situation. Sadly, I was mistaken, there was nothing but Adam Teicher(?) staring blankly into his webcam saying something ridiculously broing that had no relevance to the chiefs at all and had probably already been said.

The KC Sports Media is bush league. This blog is going to prove it.