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“It’s Oakland, yes, but JaMarcus Russell is a bad comparison. Vince Young and Cam Newton are better, though Pryor wasn’t the dominant college quarterback those two were. Brad Smith and Joshua Cribbs are fair comparisons, too, though Pryor is bigger and faster — on a stopwatch, anyway — than either of those two. Maybe he can be Antonio Gates, who never played a down of college football. Maybe he’ll just be the next Raiders workout warrior who doesn’t pan out. It’s a shame he didn’t land somewhere else.” [Jackson/FSO]
“So, what gives? Well, over the past few years, Ubaldo has been throwing fewer first-pitch strikes (56.5% in 2010 and 53.9% in 2011) and missing fewer bats. His swinging-strike percentage has steadily decreased from 9.6 to 9.1 to 7.7 in each of the past three seasons. Predictably, hitters’ contact percentage against him has climbed from 77.3 to 78.2 to 81.6 over the past three years. If you throw fewer first-pitch strikes, you’re going to fall behind in the count more often. As a result, a pitcher can’t expand the zone as much, needs to throw over the plate and now the hitters have the upper hand. Ubaldo has thrown 45% of his pitches in the strike zone this year, up from 44.8 in 2010.
It might also be worth noting that Jimenez has thrown lower percentages of fastballs (61.4 in 2010 and 60.6 in 2011), sliders (15.4 in ’10 and 13.3 in ’11) and curveballs (9.3 in ’10 and 7.8 in ’11) this year. Changeups, on the other hand, have increased. That offering was featured 13.8% of the time a year ago, but is now worked in 18.4% of the time. The slider has been virtually non-existent over Ubaldo’s last three outings.” [Bastian/MLB.com]
“Could Thome come home to Cleveland and, like Kenny Lofton in 2007, help the Indians as they try to get back into the playoff race? At first we thought, no way. Thome is a 41-year-old part-timer; surely he wouldn’t be an improvement over Hafner? But then we looked at the numbers. Since the All Star break: Hafner is batting .220, with a .642 OPS, 3 homers, 14 RBI and 31 strikeouts in 118 at bats. Thome is batting .300(!), with a .971 OPS, 6 homers, 21 RBI and 27 strikeouts in 90 at bats. Looks like an upgrade to us, at least on paper.” [Red Right 88]
The NBA is locked out. Does anyone care-”Tuesday marks the 54th day of the lockout. With the NFL back in action and Major League Baseball heading into some exciting pennant races, fans have moved on. If you think the majority of the fans are clamoring for the NBA, you’re really out of tune. Maybe when the games are set to begin, there might be a slight ping in their stomachs. I know I’ll miss it once November comes along and the regular season was set to begin. I’d settle for some preseason games at this point.” [Finnan/News Herald]
Finally, cry me a river Wade- “Obviously we went through a lot last year. It was unfair some of the stuff that we had to endure but we grew from it.” [The Point Forward]
Ok, one more. Those are some hideous uniforms.