Tuesday Ramblings on Football, Baseball, and Basketball

Sid SinghContributor IApril 22, 2009
I really hope Roger Goodell not only allows Vick back into the league, but that Vick is given another chance to quarterback. He made a mistake, and he paid the price. Shouldn’t it be over now?
I’m not saying killing dogs isn’t terrible, but at least he didn’t get drunk and kill a woman with his car and then get drunk and drive again. If he did that, then he would be named Leonard Little and play for the Rams.
Instead, Vick indulged in dog fighting, an act so despicable and heinous that he lost a lot of money, went to jail, and was suspended from his job. What more could you ask for in a fair and just society? Let him back into the league under a short leash and see if he can redeem himself.
According to the AP, Michael Crabtree has finally ditched his walking boot and is reporting that his foot feels fine. He wasn’t fast, anyway, so this doesn’t hurt his stock. A lot of teams could and should acquire a talent like Crabtree. Both of the Bay Area teams should really try and go for him.
Actually, as good as Crabtree is, fans shouldn’t be too disappointed when their team drafts an offensive lineman. I know that they’re not the sexiest pick, but just remember that having these tackles on your team means that your skill position players will have more time and space to play better. The top four tackles this year all have solid chances of becoming multiple-time all stars.
If I had to bet on which one will become the greatest, I would pick Michael Oher, who is actually currently ranked as the lowest of the four. Oher has the prototypical body, solid technique, and a better motor than people believe. The man was born to play left tackle in the NFL. He is another guy whom I would love one of the Bay Area teams to draft.
By the way, it is definitely time to lower rookie salaries in football. The NFL should adopt the system that the NBA uses, wherein it predetermines the amount of money that each draft pick can receive.
Since NFL draft picks are typically shorter than NBA contracts (thus, the window to make substantial money is shorter in football,) the length of these slotted spot contracts should be just two years with a team option for a third. That way, if the player is clearly a bust, then he is cheap and easy to discard. If he is worthy of a high payment, then he can receive it while still entering the prime of his career.
The players are going to have to make a lot of concessions in the next bargaining agreement. They might as well concede something that only affects people not yet in the players union. The agents who receive commission on those extravagant contracts are the only ones who will object, but the union is in too tough of a spot to argue for people who are not yet in there.
Moving to baseball, it turns out that Elijah Dukes was actually paid for the so called charity work that caused him to be five minutes late at the stadium. Want to know why he was late? He is never going to get demoted to AAA and he was fined the same amount that he was paid to attend the little league function. He was then benched for being late.
If you ask me, that is completely reasonable for a team to do that wants to create a sense of discipline in the clubhouse that knows it's going to lose a lot of games, anyway.
Here is a tip to all fantasy baseball owners: get Matt Cain onto your team as soon as possible. He has steadily improved his numbers each year, and is finally getting run support. Expect him to be a top 10 contender for Cy Young this year. In fact, as long as he stays healthy, that is my stone cold baseball lock of the year!
And now, onto the NBA.
I can’t believe Dwight Howard won defensive player of the year for the NBA. This award officially means nothing. Howard is, at best, an average man-to-man defender and only affects so many shots because most of his teammates cannot keep their men out of the lane. Is he getting better? Yes, just like his post moves, his defense has a lot of potential, but he simply isn’t there yet.
Howard won the award because KG was hurt and couldn’t be given the award again. Also, Duncan’s Spurs had a poor overall team defense, no one individually stands out enough in Cleveland, and people are scared to give the award to a swing player.
You know who should have won the award? Shane Battier. He guards great scoring swing players, and is a great help defender. He isn’t a sexy pick, but he is the right one.
Eddie Jordan should be a top candidate to be hired by an NBA team with a vacancy. No offense to Byron Scott, who was the head coach at the time, but Eddie Jordan was the brains behind those Nets teams making the finals and his Wizard teams were always fun to watch. When you need to sell tickets, what more could you ask for?
The NBA should not be concerned with Erick Dampier’s comments about wanting to put Tony Parker “on his back.” If Parker is going to drive to the hoop, Dallas is well within their rights to foul him—yes, even foul him hard. Parker will pick himself up and get two free throws. If he is scared of getting hurt, then he should watch Vince Carter’s tapes from the last few years and never drive in.
Listen, if Dampier is clearly fouling Parker too hard and trying to actually physically injure him, then give him a flagrant foul or eject him and move on.
Ricky Rubio is declaring for the draft! He already was good enough to hold his ground against Jason Kidd and Chris Paul during the Olympics. Sure, he won’t be quite as good early on as he has to adjust to the NBA style and his teammates, but this kid has some great potential. Once he develops a jump shot (probably by his third year or so in the NBA) he will be a top three player in the NBA and a top 20 player overall. He is the type of player who can lead your team to a championship. By the way, Blake Griffin probably does not have a ceiling that high. That is something to think about for whomever lands the number one overall pick.
Hopefully, by this time next year, Ricky Rubio, Michael Crabtree, Michael Oher, Michael Vick, and Matt Cain haven’t become derailed by injuries or revealed to have a lack of talent. Was that enough to reverse jinx them? I hope so.