By Josh Kramer
Yesterday was a wild day. With the lifting of the NFL Lockout, all seems to be right in the world again. Strap in for what may be the craziest free agency period you will ever get to witness in any sport during your life time. Here are the headlines that have caught my attention.
To bunt or not to bunt?
It is frightening to me when I see guys in the MLB who cannot bunt. When a guy with the abilities of Drew Stubbs cannot bunt, I want to jump off of a cliff. Stubbs is one of the ten fastest guys in baseball and without question the speediest guy on the Cincinnati roster, yet he does not possess the ability to bunt at this time.
It was very refreshing for me getting to see Stubbs, the Reds young and talented centerfielder, give the Reds a huge walk-off victory over a tough Atlanta Braves team on baseball’s biggest regular season stage, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. It also gave the Reds their first two game winning streak since a mighty three game streak back on June 13th, 14th, and 15th.
I have been a huge fan of the kid out of Texas since the Reds drafted him at 8th overall in the 2006 First Year Player Draft. From that day forward, he was anointed the Reds centerfielder of the future. And when he debuted with the big team on August 19, 2009, the expectations heightened. Drew Stubbs doesn’t look like the strongest guy in the world from a bird’s eye view, but he definitely has a little pop in his swing. He demonstrated this pop on Sunday and over the duration of the 2010 season with his 22 round-trippers. And this is nice, but most teams need a speedy centerfielder to be a contact hitter. A guy who gets on base frequently, which helps his team win ball games.
It is no secret that both batting average and home runs are down. As I have said before on this blog, “Pitcher rule and hitters drool.” Due to this fact, most offenses are living off of small ball tactics once you venture outside of the mighty AL East. Just ask the Phillies and Giants about old school small ball and how it is working out for them.
The following are three numbers that define Drew Stubbs career:
347, .257, and .330
These are his career strikeout total, career batting average, and career on-base-percentage. Two of these numbers are extremely subpar, while his on base percentage is mediocre at best. The future of Drew Stubbs does not rest with his home run power. It rests with cheap hits, infield singles, and speed. He better learn how to bunt and ways to improve his contact, or he will never ever please the Cincinnati fans. Expectations will not be met and the once very promising “prospect” Drew Stubbs will never be able to live up to the hype. I do not think that is how Drew Stubbs, a phenomenal talent, would like to be remembered.
Please no more #4
I would have preferred the lockout to go on longer than have to witness the return of the almighty #4. So maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I would not be a happy camper if Brett Favre were to return to the field. Yesterday was a grand day. Not only was it the birthday of arguably the greatest running back of all time, Walter Payton, but the NFL Lockout has was finally lifted. Sweetness would have been a very happy man (RIP). Ten years of beautiful NFL bliss to look forward to. We will not have to deal with these shenanigans again for at least a decade.
If the unthinkable were to happen and #4 returned to the field, it would once again prove the fact that Favre thinks he is larger than the game.
At the age of 41, Favre appears to be damaged goods all around. He ruined what looked to be a potential Super Bowl season in Minnesota last year almost single handily. Favre threw a meager 11 touchdowns and an insane 19 interceptions. Good luck securing a starting role after that memorable performance.
I think Vick’s recent tweet was very symbolic. By spelling Brett’s name incorrectly and saying he would love to have the quarterback with all the records as his back up, Vick demonstrated just how irrelevant Favre is. How could a man at Brett’s age return to be a second-stringer? Where would his pride be if he returned in that fashion?
Maybe Favre should pursue acting again. “Something About Mary” was a classic.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.