Friday, April 18, 2014

Mizzou basketball: Hilarious quotes surrounding Frank Haith's departure to Tulsa

Friday was yet another interesting day for the Missouri Tigers athletic department.

One week after dismissing its top wide receiver from the football team, booting a transfer center before he ever played a game for the basketball team and having an investigative report conclude that the school should have done more in an investigation surrounding the rape and suicide of a female swimmer, athletic director Mike Alden found out officially that he would need to find and hire a new basketball coach.

Yup, that is right, Frank Haith is no longer in Columbia and has left for the greener pastures of Tulsa.

You read that correct. Haith has bolted from Mizzou in favor of Tulsa.

It is difficult for that to sink in completely. It is a perplexing time for the basketball program, which was clearly taking steps backwards under Haith and some of the faithful actually are glad Haith has moved on.

But you can not deny, and there is absolutely no way to sugarcoat, that losing your head basketball coach to an inferior program like Tulsa is certainly damaging.

Of course both sides had to speak on the matter on Friday in dueling press conferences and here are some of the hysterical quotes that came as a result of this uncomfortable, unusual and unconventional turn of events.

By the way, if I have to explain why these are funny, or smell of BS, then you just do not understand.

There you have it. Some hilarious stuff that you wish was tongue in cheek but is actually not when considering the situation.

This is a coach who texted his boss that he was leaving.

This was a coach that was hired at Mizzou despite a pending NCAA investigation and had an AD that willfully, for who knows what reason, supported him throughout the entire process despite it possibly putting a black eye on this AD's reputation.

This is a coach who failed to make one player better that came through his doors and in fact, many became worst.

This is a coach who just left a job at a SEC school for freaking Tulsa.

Mizzou will see better days on the hardwood, it just may take a long time to recover.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What does Daniel Descalso do well?

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals activated Mark Ellis from the disabled list and sent shortstop Pete Kozma down to Triple-A Memphis. It took just hours for manager Mike Matheny to insert Ellis in to the lineup.

The activation of Ellis obviously had an effect on Kozma, but what kind of effect does it have on the other backup infielder Daniel Descalso?

With Ellis active, and able and willing to play second and third base, opportunities for Descalso will become even fewer and more far between.

And that is a good thing in this fan's eyes.

In fact, it prompts a conversation as to which situations it would be best to utilize Descalso, which causes me to ask the question, what does Descalso do well?

Lets take a look.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Yes, the open space was put there for effect. Call it a metaphor, or symbolism or whatever the hell you want.

The point is, of course, is that Descalso really does not do anything well.

Let's actually break it down this time.

Can Descalso hit for average? Answer: not really. Descalso hit just .227 in 2012 and followed that up with an outstanding .238 in 2013. Part of that abysmal 2013 performance was due to Descalso hitting just .199 after the all-star break. That is two years of awful performance at the plate.

Can Descalso hit for power? Answer: No. Descalso has 10 home runs in over 1,000 career plate appearances. His career .651 OPS screams of a fringe MLB-player. Descalso has 58 career doubles, which is not bad, but for comparison sake, Matt Carpenter had 55 doubles just last season.

Does Descalso have speed? Answer: Nope.  Descalso has just 15 stolen bases in 434 career games, so there is no speed element there at all.

Is Descalso a good pinch hitter? Answer: Not at all.  In fact, Descalso is a terrible pinch hitter. The Cardinals may be better off using decent hitting pitcher Adam Wainwright then Descalso off the bench (or maybe let Trevor Rosenthal hit for himself with the winning run at second at some point down the line) (that was a joke, of course).  In 78 career plate appearances as a pinch hitter, Descalso has .169 batting average with a .414 OPS. Awful.

Is Descalso a "clutch" hitter? Answer: He's better then he normally is, but still not great. With runners in scoring position, Descalso has a .248 career average, but with two outs in those situations he has a .217 average.  In late innings situations (innings seven through nine), Descalso has hit just .224 with a .605 OPS.

Is Descalso a good defensive second baseman? Answer: Nope. Descalso's career UZR/150 as a second baseman is -5.6.  He is easily third in line at this position, behind Wong and Ellis

Is Descalso a good defensive shortstop? Answer: Absolutely not. Descalso is not good and really not even adequate as a shortstop, posting a career UZR/150 of -19.8 at the position. Yet, he is the team's only option to backup Jhonny Peralta on the current 25-man roster.

Is Descalso a good defensive third baseman? Answer: Not really. He is an average defensive third baseman, but hardly spectacular. His career -3.0 UZR/150 (still a negative number folks) reflects this.

So there you have it. The answers to the question "What does Daniel Descalso do well?"

Based on these answers, Descalso should be used very, very sparingly.

And why the heck is he making over one million dollars?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

St. Louis Blues: Ian Cole should play in playoffs

On Sunday afternoon, St. Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole played his first game since March 29 and in only his second game since March 17. Cole's presence in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings only happened because Barret Jackman was scratched from the lineup, as were many players because of injuries and just to get rest as the team limps into the playoffs.

The absence of Cole from the lineup for such a long time is mind-boggling and it is easy to see that he is one of head coach Ken Hitchcock's favorite dog house members.

But Cole should be playing. He should play every game because he is clearly better than the alternatives, Carlo Colaiacovo and Jordan Leopold.

And he should be paired with Roman Polak once the playoffs start.

Sure Cole makes some mistakes, and at times those mistakes come in some very untimely situations. But overall, he brings more to the table then Colaiacovo and Leopold, and it is not even close.

Cole has played in 45 games and has posted a plus 15 on the season, which is the seventh highest on the roster, higher than captain David Backes and golden boy Vladimir Sobotka. Cole's plus/minus is the third highest among all defenseman on the roster, with only stalwarts Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester posting higher numbers.

Cole provides some offensive punch too. He has 11 points on the season as a third-line pairing defenseman that rarely sees any power play time. Meanwhile, Colaiacovo, who does see time on the power play on occassion, and Leopold have combined for just 10 points in 50 games.

So, please explain to me how either Colaiacovo or Leopold are better options than Cole?

Isn't Cole superior defensively and offensively to both?

Why has Cole continued to sit in the press box while Colaiacovo has played a majority of the games down the stretch while the team has struggled?

The third-line, left-handed defenseman situation is hardly a reason for the team's collapse down the stretch. Much of that can be attributed to injuries and a lack of discipline within the game plan.

The Blues will need all the jump in their steps as they can get once the playoffs begin and especially if they are missing any of their top forwards who missed the season finale against the Red Wings.

Cole can provide that jump. He can provide that disciplined type of hockey in the defensive zone and help clear the net in front of Ryan Miller. Cole can jump up into the play and make something happen offensively.

Cole has been in the dog house for a long time, but its time for Hitch to stop playing favorites and start playing Ian Cole once the playoffs begin.