Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at
I’m not a huge Peter King fan, but once you get past his blatant homerism (King is to the Patriots what Peter Gammons is to the Red Sox) and his ruminations about airport bathrooms, coffee, and television (PK loves “The Nard Dog
“), his Monday Morning Quarterback articles are actually pretty informative (as well as provide some of the best comic relief on the Internet
). “Ten Things I Think I Think” is supposed to be a section of his column devoted to quick hitters you’d most likely find on Twitter, but it’s really just a laundry list of his random thoughts that morph into something more like “38 Things I Think I Think.” Anyway, I’ll keep the basic premise, but spare you the stories about colonoscopies
1. I know I’m not the first person to say this, but I really think the Phillies are going to regret giving Ryan Howard $25M a year into his late thirties
. Howard is a wonderful player who is a bit underrated: since 2006, he has consistently mashed the baseball
for over 140 games a year. However, at 30 years old, he’s probably begun to enter the decline phase of his career and while he has worked to alter the reputation that he has a “bad body,” he still doesn’t profile as a guy who will be doing much more than players like Mo Vaughn and Richie Sexson
did at similar points in their careers. For pending free agent Albert Pujols, prepare to own the Arch.
2. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in real trouble if they think Shaq is the missing piece that will carry them past Orlando and onto a shot at the championship. After an uninspired 17 minutes in Game 4
, Shaq’s six points and seven rebounds barely eclipsed his five fouls. Shaq’s creaky play was only amplified by Joakim Noah’s 21 points and 20 rebounds, which will seem like child’s play if they have to face Dwight Howard.
3. Jaroslav Halak absolutely owned the Capitals in Game 6 of their playoff series
. It didn’t matter what edge the Caps had: two-man advantage, whatever. Fifty-three saves. While I still think the Capitals will win Game 7 at home, this sets up a dangerous precedent for them: the NHL playoffs are an entire second season. At some point, you have to win a series in less than six games, rest up and regroup. The Caps’ last four playoff series have gone seven games — they have to learn to finish teams off… And to score on a power play.
4. Bryce Harper has to be the first overall pick in June’s MLB Amateur Draft. Playing in a junior college league with wooden bats, he’s hit 21 homeruns in 47 games with 15 stolen bases
. Oh yeah, the 6’3 205 lbs kid also plays catcher, closes games with a fastball that touches 96, and isn’t old enough to vote. Yep, he’s only 17. Forget the supposed character issues: show me a person who wasn’t a jackass when they were 17. Stan Kasten: pay that man his money.
5. The on-going discussion about the BCS conferences expanding
along with the imminent explosion of the NCAA Tournament
only magnifies the fallacy of the term “student athlete.” I understand they get a free education and opportunities that 99% of normal college kids will never get, but $10.8 billion is a serious amount of money. That’s not surprising, but let’s be honest: college sports has quickly become one of the most exploitative uses of labor in the history of sports. Unreal.
This guy right here supposedly only sleeps three hours a night. You'd think that'd leave plenty of time for an adult haircut.
7. While it would be devastating to Caps fans if they failed to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the San Jose Sharks might have them beat in the “choke” department if they can’t advance in Round 2. Since 2005-2006, the Sharks have averaged 109 points in the regular season, making them perhaps the best regular season team in the Western Conference. And yet, they still have found themselves sitting at home during the conference finals. Early signs are not good: the Sharks struggled with a Colorado, a team that backed its way into the Playoffs.
8. If Las Vegas took bets on the number of times Jon Gruden said, “This guy” during last weekend’s draft, they’d have to set the over/under at 9,843,344. Coach, please get a new verbal crutch. I’m not sold on Gruden as an analyst – for every “this guy right here” there’s a “QB Camp
” where Gruden just annihilates the hopes and dreams of 22 year-olds, which is sports schadenfreude at its best. If I was a football player I’d hate to play for him, but I’d love it if he coached my team.
9. I think taking your team’s ace (who’s making close to $19 million this season) and installing him as a setup man is a desperate move
, even if you think he’ll eventually be moved back to the rotation. Carlos Zambrano hasn’t been the ace
the Cubs are paying him to be, but he’s still better than Carlos Silva. This is a no-win move for the Cubs: Zambrano hasn’t pitched in relief since 2002, so this is no Joba Chamberlain situation. What if his return to the rotation doesn’t happen as quickly as Zambrano would like? What happens if Zambrano is actually really good at relieving but Silva and the rest of the rotation begin to implode? Shortcuts like this don’t usually work. The Cubbies are grasping.
Former NFL running back Najeh Davenport
, who joined the [Pittsburgh] Steelers that season  after spending four seasons in Green Bay, says he soon heard the jabs at [Ben] Roethlisberger, then 24, despite the quarterback’s remarkable two-year résumé of success. “Team leaders there didn’t respect the fact that he didn’t respect what it took to be like a champion, like a true champion,” Davenport says.