An April Amalgam

There are reports this morning that the Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Dave Joerger even though the Kings won more games this year than they have since the 2005-06 season.  That is the good news; the rest of the story is that the Kings still missed the playoffs and the Kings did not reach the .500 mark.

The Kings were in the playoffs every season from 1998 through 2006 under Rick Adelman.  Not only have they been on the outside looking into the playoffs since then, the Kings have had 9 coaches since the start of the 2006-07 season.  Joerger was the longest tenured of those 9 by a wide margin; he coached 326 games; the second longest tenured coach in that stretch was Paul Westphal who coached the Kings for 171 games.

A team with 9 head coaches in 13 seasons never has a chance to develop individual players into a cohesive unit.  To me this seems like planting a tree and then pulling it out of the ground every week or so to see how the roots are growing.  Neither of the above seems like a great strategy to me…

Next Monday will be the running of the Boston Marathon.  I don’t know if there will be wagering on the race in Las Vegas; I could not find any odds this morning.  The reason I went looking is that very often in this type of situation, the folks in Vegas will post odds for the most recognizable contenders and then lump everyone else into the category “Field” – meaning that if anyone in the “Field” wins, it counts as a winning wager.  I wondered if there was going to be wagering at all if the sportsbooks would have a wager where you could place a bet on every Kenyan in the race to win – a “Kenyan field” if you will.

Normally a “Field” bet is a longshot because all the favorites are listed separately.  If there were a “Kenyan Field” bet for Monday’s Boston Marathon, I would imagine the line would be something like minus-300.

Since I was thinking about the Boston Marathon, that led me to ask myself the following question:

  • How freaked out are the Boston Red Sox fans these days?

After last year when the Red Sox won 108 games and then breezed through the playoffs and World Series, the start of the 2019 season must seem like Bizarro World for Sox fans.

  • The team batting average is .238; the team OBP is .313.
  • The pitching staff cumulative ERA is 6.32; four of the Sox starters have ERAs north of 6.00.

The Red Sox are 4-9 as of this morning and they are 6 games out of the division lead in the VERY early going.  Here is why Sox fans should not be in Full-On Panic Mode:

  • The Red Sox started the season with an 11-game road trip; they have only played 2 home games so far in 2019.
  • Every other team in the AL East has already had at least 6 home dates.

You may remember last Fall when Alabama coach, Nick Saban,” complained” that the Alabama student body did not provide what he thought was “proper support” for the football team because the student sections had cleared out in the 4th quarter of a blowout game.  When I heard that, I figured it was just a way for Saban to find something to gripe about lest he seem pleased at the way his team had been playing.  Well, maybe he was more serious than I thought and maybe he flexed a few muscles in the school Athletic Department over the winter.

The Alabama Athletic Department is going to institute something – not yet fully defined as far as I can tell – called “Tide Loyalty Points” and it will seek to reward students who stay in the stadium until the games are finished.  Here is the intent of “Tide Loyalty Points”:

“Through the Tide Loyalty Points program, students will earn points for attending home football games and for their support in the 4th quarter.  Those points will contribute to students’ priority access to regular and postseason tickets.”

It seems as if students at Alabama will have to make some decisions this Fall.  On one hand, staying through the final 15 minutes of a game where Alabama already leads by 5 TDs might earn them access to a ticket to the national championship game in January.  On the other hand, leaving at the end of the third quarter will add another 30-45 minutes to the post-game drinking and debauchery celebration.  Decisions … decisions…

  • [Aside:  I guess the good news here is that one does not earn any Tide Loyalty Points by consuming Tide Pods.]

I realize the some of you are planning for your vacation this summer and as an added service provided by Curmudgeon Central – – at no additional cost mind you – – let me make you aware of a new attraction you may want to factor into your decision making.

  • The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum – – located in Milwaukee, WI – – opened to the public on 1 Feb 2019.

You can pay a visit; you can become a member; you can donate one of your bobbleheads; you can loan one of your bobbleheads to the museum for them to display; you can receive bobbleheads from the museum.  The options are many and varied.  In fact, here is what you might expect from a visit:

“The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum houses the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads and features dozens of exhibits related to the history of bobbleheads, making of bobbleheads and much more.”

Finally, consider this comment by Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot regarding advanced analytics and sports fans:

“Stoned: The statistical innovation that, depending on your perspective, has either transformed or ruined baseball, is coming to curling, my favorite Olympic winter sport. It’s my favorite because I can identify with competitors who don’t wear skates, skis or spandex and are smart enough to remain indoors. But now, international curling is embracing, you guessed it, analytics. The nerdy sport of curling is being turned over to even bigger nerds. I think I need to find a new favorite winter sport.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

 

 

4 thoughts on “An April Amalgam”

  1. It appears Luke Walton is taking over in Sacramento, I see that as a good hire.

    I don’t know who the Lakers will get, though. That’s a person who must be a so-called “name” coach to keep the media market happy, but who’s available this time around?

    1. Rugger9:

      Ty Lue is available. He may not have the name recognition of a Phil Jackson or a Greg Popovich, but he has something very valuable to offer the Lakers. LeBron James accepted him in the role of head coach once before.

      1. That’s true, but Lue was very much the junior partner in that dynamic. What James has shown (like MJ before Pippen) is that one player cannot win championships alone, and I do not see the current “brain” trust in Lakerland as one capable of assembling the roster to succeed. I think James knows this and needs to prod his ownership group to improve his chances in LA.

        I’m not sure Lue wants the soap opera either.

        1. Rugger9:

          On the other hand, there do not seem to be a throng of teams tying up the phone lines to Lue’s agent begging Lue to come and coach their team. Maybe this “soap opera” is his most convenient way to get back into the coaching business?

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