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Friday, April 30, 2010

Weak Trip Salvaged by Howard Signing

The Phillies return from an extended road trip tonight after going a very average 4-5. An apparently overrated Atlanta Braves team and a fluky win on getaway day against San Francisco salvaged the trip, along with the long-term signing of Ryan Howard.

There’s actually plenty to be concerned about with the Phillies, but Howard’s signing certainly isn’t one of them. People complaining about the team locking up a future Hall of Fame player essentially through his career need to have their head examined. Howard is being compared to Babe Ruth by legitimate baseball people. Focusing on his number of strikeouts is moronic. The guy is already one of the all-time Phillie, has shown a willingness to work hard in areas that he once struggled like fielding, and has been nothing but a class act.

Averting the nightmare scenario of ever seeing Howard in a Yankee uniform alone makes the deal worthwhile. If people wanted bitch about a lack of productivity at the end of the contract – far from a given – they can knock themselves out. If it’s the cost of being serious contenders for the next five years, I’ll take a couple years of over paying the guy at the end of his career.

Eagles Draft

Are we all done playing Mel Kiper? I have no clue how the Birds did in the draft, and neither do you. Hell, they don’t know. I like that they went heavy on the defense, and that they followed it up with a short contract extension for Kevin Kolb. I would have liked to see more free agency movement (aka, known commodities) on defense.

NBA Playoff Picks

The Atlanta Hawks appear to be choking away my chances for a first-round sweep as long as the Lakers can take care of Oklahoma City in one of the next two games. David Stern’s brilliant marathon scheduling of the first round makes it difficult to get a read on a worthwhile parlay for the second round. So far, the Cavs are my pick to beat Boston, but at -450, who cares? I’m leaning toward my first upset with the Spurs at +115 over the Suns, but I have until Monday to make it official.

Saturday Update: My picks are the Cavs, Lakers, and Spurs. Parlay it for 20 points to win 46.69.

Monday Update: The Hawks finally put the Bucks down on Sunday, so I can officially pick the Magic over the Hawks in the second round. Trying to add Orlando at -800 wouldn't have added much to the original parlay, and the changing odds, including the Spurs now being -105, makes the 4-team parlay worth less than the above pick. So, obviously, I'll leave the parlay alone.

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