Whatever you do today, don’t watch ESPN if you don’t want to hear about Joba Chamberlain’s start last night. Good grief. Full SportsCenter coverage on the main channel, then you get talking heads debating the merits of the 62 pitch no decision on ESPN2, and it wouldn’t surprise me is Classic put a temporary halt to the Celtics-Lakers marathon to show you all 62 pitches on a loop.
Speaking of ESPN and the Finals, did you catch the Simmons piece? This is my favorite part-
Myth: L.A. and Boston were reborn this season with two legal megadeals.
Truth: At least the Celts gave up Al Jefferson for KG. How was the Gasol trade legal? If I kill my mailman and no one ever finds out, does that make it legal? Jerry West’s old team (Memphis) gift-wrapped its best player for the team that once employed West for 40 years, taking back a pupu platter (Kwame Brown, a third-string guard and two crappy picks). This happened even though the Lakers’ season would have been over without a center. Had this trade taken place in a fantasy league, it would have led to three weeks of vicious e-mails, crumbled friendships, guys quitting and maybe even a fistfight. In the NBA, it led to the Lakers being presented the 2008 Western Conference trophy by … yup, a crying Jerry West. The NBA, where chicanery happens.
Seriously, did he just whine about West giving Pau Gasol to his former team? Talk to Minnesota fans and see if they don’t feel kind of the same way about Kevin McHale right about now. Yeah, they got Al Jefferson. I’m sure that’s helping them sleep better at night.
Eleven Warriors is doing a series comparing the ’08 Buckeyes with the uber-talented ’98 squad. A fair comparison.
Terry Pluto is optimistic about the Browns. Speaking of the Browns, if you are into podcasts, check out Barry McBride’s interview with Adam Caplan talking about some of the potential moves the Browns could make.
The Dave Burba Revolution gives us a day in the life of Travis Hafner. Comedy ensues.
Look for a recap of the Someone Has To Win the Central series today on Big League Stew.
The Hardball Times has a two part piece on Cliff Lee. (Part 1 here, Part 2 here.) It is quite technical, but a few things stand out as Derek attempts to understand why Lee is having so much success this year. The first is the horizontal movement chart in Part 2.
What the chart shows me is that Cliff is staying on the corners of the plate much better this year, particularly with his breaking pitches. His change up is also finding the same spots as his fastball, which helps disguise the pitch.
The second thing I noticed was Cliff’s pitch selection. He has much more confidence in his fastball this year, and is being more aggressive with it in 1-0 and 2-0 counts. With an 0-2 count Cliff is really mixing up his pitches, keeping hitters completely off balance. A nice breakdown for stat heads.