Throwback Saturday Part XII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Bobby Valentine (pictured above) is the current Red Sox manager due to a horrible September collapse last year. Will he right the ship in Beantown?

By Josh Kramer

Three months and still going strong.  The “Throwback Saturday” experiment has gone better than expected.  For those of you who have no idea what “Throwback Saturday” is, here’s a quick synopsis.  It is a time to look back and reflect.  What was happening on April 7, 2011? How about April 7, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Panic Time in Beantown?

Here is a snippet..

There are currently only two teams in all of Major League Baseball that we can call “defeated.”  Otherwise known as, “winless.”  Surprisingly, both of these teams are perennial playoff teams that reside in what most, including myself, consider the best division in all of baseball.

Were we all too high on the mighty AL East?

Tampa Bay currently sits at 0 and 5.  While the team that Sports Illustrated and most baseball experts picked to win not only the American League, but the World Series, sports the worst record in baseball.  Yes, the Boston Red Sox, the team with the most potent and dangerous lineup in all of baseball sits at 0 and 6.

Is it time to press the panic button in Beantown?

How many games are in an MLB Season?  162 right?  Boston has completed a little less than 4 percent of their games and people act as if the world is ending.  SportsCenter is providing stories on why history is against the Red Sox.  Most internet sites are calling the Red Sox a fraud.  And if you forget what a fraud is, just ask Colin Cowherd what the term means.

Well I am not playing into it, yet.  Sure the BoSox supposedly unstoppable offense has only scored 16 runs on the year, which is tied for second worse in the American League.  Sure Boston’s supposedly, “very solid” pitching staff has given up the second most runs in all of baseball.  38 to be exact, which translates to a little over six runs a game.  Even in Little League, giving up six runs a game is not part of a winning formula.  But they have only played six games.  It is a six month marathon for a reason (To finish reading this post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

Just as I said, it wasn’t panic time yet in Beantown.  The panic occurred five months later in September, during one of the worst collapses in baseball history.  Ironically, the other “defeated” team, Tampa Bay, were the ones that directly took advantage of what I like to call the present day version of the “Boston Massacre.”  Over the course of a six month, 162 game season, a lot can happen.  With the Red Sox last year, there were plenty of highs and of course some monumental lows.  Bobby Valentine hopes he can right the ship in Beantown this season.

Two years ago..

Are there Unlimited Spots in the Draft?

Here is a snippet..

Last time I checked, the NBA Draft was just a two-round event.  I did not realize that an infinite number of players would get picked up by these teams.  It seems that every underclassmen in America is being told to make the jump from the collegiate level early head to the pros.

Guys like John Wall, Evan Turner, and Demarcus Cousins are all leaving early.  This was expected and is perfectly fine.  They exhibited the maturity level and the ability to make the leap.  But today guys such as Lance Stephenson, Chris Wright, and Xavier Henry have declared.  Not to mention it appears that Daniel Orton of UK will be departing early as well.  What is the deal?!

These guys are all fine players with loads of potential.  They are all sure-fire future NBA players with a plethora of talent.  But you have to hone and refine your skills in college before you make the leap.  The NBA is not there to baby you. In actuality, it does anything but baby you.  It is a big time transition not only as a player, but to the pro lifestyle.  Yes, your game will improve while you are in the League.  But you are supposed to make the leap to the pros when you are ready.  I know that Lance Stephenson is known for being ”Born Ready,” and I have a biased opinion in that I would love to see him stay and help out the Bearcats next year, but is he really ready to make the leap (To finish reading this post, click this link)?

Present Thoughts:

It feels like deja vu.  Players that I do not feel are ready by any means to take their talents to the next level are declaring left and right.  Kudos to Isaiah Canaan and James Michael McAdoo for making the correct decision and returning to school for another year.  As for where my thought process was at two years ago.  I realize that there was an interesting predicament going on back then.  A lockout was looming and many of these guys wanted to cash in a year before the CBA insanity occurred (and it did come).  Sure that makes sense.  But there are only 60 total draft picks.  If you aren’t ready, you likely won’t get drafted.  Do the math.

But as I said, guys like John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Evan Turner were ready.  They are all three starters and major contributors to their respective teams.  As for the other guys I mentioned.  Lance Stephenson was by no means “Born Ready.”  He appeared in a total of 12 games during his rookie season and scored double-digits just once.  This year, things are better, but not by much.  Another year in college would have suited Stephenson well.  As for Daniel Orton.  I will never ever understand how this guy was a first-round draft pick until the day I die.  In year #2, Orton has appeared in a total of six games.  His career high is two points (he did not appear in any games during his rookie year).  Calipari seems to know how to hone NBA talent.  Perhaps another year in Lexington would have been a wise choice (before Anthony Davis arrived)? Chris Wright made the correct choice, and ended up staying for his senior season in Dayton after initially declaring without an agent.  Leaving early would not have been a wise choice for the former high-rising Dayton Flyers star.  Lastly, Xavier Henry.  This guy was supposed to be a superstar at the next level in time.  He has been mediocre at best, averaging 4.3 points per game as a rookie.  This year, he is scoring 5.5 points a game.  Another year learning from Bill Self definitely would not have been a bad thing.  Sadly, money can blind people.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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