Archives for: 2011, week 23

06/11/11

Flameout: LeBron James Playoff Failures Continue

Permalink 12:02:25 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs by Digger  

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-Digger's Daily-

Add LeBron James to the long list of super playoff failures. LeBron's past playoff ineptness as Cleveland's star earned plenty of criticism especially after appearing to give up during last seasons Conference Finals vs Boston. James performance in this years NBA Finals has been nothing short of a disastrous choke. After five games, James has totaled 11 fourth quarter points. Hardly "King"-like.

James name is now grouped with other playoff underachievers. Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Chris Webber, Peyton Manning & Jim Kelly all shined during regular season action only to flameout in the spotlight of playoff games. James took plenty of heat from Cleveland fans and sportscasters after quitting during close games vs Boston. Harsh criticism? Not at all.

I wonder if Scotty Pippen still believes King LeBron "is the greatest all round player of all time." Pippen's jealousy of Jordan continues. Did Scotty ever win a NBA Championship without MJ? No. How many times did MJ carry the Bulls to title glory? 6. Not only couldn't Pippen deliver without Jordan... he also quit on the Bulls vs Knicks when his number wasn't called to attempt the games final game winning shot. Scotty pouted. Pippen was a great player. But, he never won without Jordan. Hearing Pippen call James the greatest ever is more of a shot at Jordan than praise for James whose playoff 4th quarter disappearing acts are well documented.

No doubt James is one of the best during regular season action. He's played great playoff basketball in early rounds. The greatest of the great all have one thing in common. Winners always want the ball when games are on the line. Not LeBron. One might think furious criticism of James post-season play would become inspiration. He's a laughingstock in Dallas. Maverick's fans are loving new "knock-knock" jokes.

Knock Knock
"Who's there?"
LeBron
"LeBron who?"
EXACTLY

Miami Heat trails Dallas 3 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Series shifts back to Miami. James has a chance to quiet detractors if he puts together at least an effort in 4th quarter action. What will it be? Can James get over 4th quarter fears? Or, will he go down as one of the most overpaid chokers in sports history?

06/09/11

Bob Geren First Manager Axed in 2011

Permalink 10:27:08 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs by Digger  

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-Digger's Daily-

Bob Geren is out as manager of the Oakland Athletics. Oakland's current 9 game losing streak places them last in the American League West after trailing by a mere 1.5 games back on May 29. Geren's firing marks the first time in nearly 25 years Oakland replaced a manager mid-season.

Geren had his hands full juggling an oft injured roster over the past few years. Oakland expected to compete in 2011 after signing a few veteran bats to bolster team offense in support of a strong starting rotation. Veteran DH Hideki Matsui (.209) is hitting 80+ points below career averages... complete bust. Big things were expected from budding starters Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden but injuries ended their year. Throw in closer Andrew Bailey and 2011 quickly became a recipe for disaster. Infielders, outfielders and replacement pitchers all rotating through the disabled list revolving door.

Geren's departure was meant to inject a spark, wake up call, or whatever catch phrases associated with trying to snap a team out of a prolonged funk. As I type, the struggling White Sox are taking it to the A's 6-3 with 3 innings to go. Looks like a double digit streak is only a few outs away.

In recent years Oakland has been masterful getting the most out of low payroll players. Not an easy task in AL West play without a true power hitter. Pitching, defense and small ball used to lead the way. From 2000-2006 the A's played playoff caliber baseball winning 102 & 103 games in back to back years (2001-02). 91+ wins in 5 of 6 seasons. Under Geren, Oakland hasn't finished with a winning record in 4+ years. Time for a change.

Welcome Bob Melvin. He takes over to finish out the year and audition for 2012. Melvin skippered Arizona to the '07 NLCS and owns a 493-508 career managing record.

06/08/11

Baseball Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

Permalink 12:13:59 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Much attention remains focused on Cleveland, New York, Boston and Tampa Bay. Guess which team now has baseball's best record? St. Louis Cardinals. Albert Pujols appears to have shaken off an early season slump. Lance Berkman keeps crushing baseballs. Cards bullpen now getting the job done. Is St. Louis baseball's best? Probably not. However, they're playing great ball at the moment.

All Star Game is one month away. Fans stuffing ballot boxes hoping their favorite players garner enough votes to play in Arizona's mid-summer classic. A few ASG regulars still trying to shake off big time struggles. Hit machine Ichiro Suzuki season long slump continues (.260). Yanks Jorge Posada's (.195) batting average is slowly improving but I fear his days as a starting DH are soon to end. Derek Jeter's closing in on 3,000 career hits. Believe it or not New York has never had any player collect 3,000 hits!

Who is #1 in this week's installment of All World All Sports Power Rankings? Time to find out....
Top 10
1 - Philadelphia Phillies
2 - Boston Red Sox
3 - Cleveland Indians
4 - New York Yankees
5 - St. Louis Cardinals
6 - Detroit Tigers
7 - Milwaukee Brewers
8 - San Francisco Giants
9 - Texas Rangers
10 - Atlanta Braves

Bottom 5
30- Houston Astros
29- Chicago Cubs
28- Minnesota Twins
27- Kansas City Royals
26- Oakland A's