Elster's World

Monday, June 04, 2007

Now THAT'S a Flip Flop

News outlets have been reporting since yesterday that newly hired 27 million dollar coach Billy Donovan has major second thoughts about his taking the job as head coach of the Orlando Magic. He reportedly has asked out of the contract and is waiting on Magic ownership to decide whether they will let him go and if so, if they will make him pay to get out of the contract. Even Joe would admit this kind of flip-flopping puts Elster to shame.

I think it goes without saying that they will let him out of the job. After all, head coaching is hard enough when you care. A half-hearted effort will not get the job done in the NBA or any professional league. For examples of this look at Larry Brown with the Knicks (openly trying to get fired at the end - leads to the worst season in the team's history) or Art Howe (seemed to actually snooze during some games at the end of his run - that's a joke Joe, please no angry comment). Look for Donovan to be released some time today or tomorrow and continue to build the Florida Gators into Duke-like perennial powers.

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I Guess That's Why It's Never Been Done Before:

The Mets lost yesterday to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Shea - falling just short of becoming the first team in Major League history to open a season with 9 straight non-divisional series victories (they have lost division series to the Braves and the Marlins). Could you imagine not having people in the world who figure out stuff like this?

Game-wise, Oliver Perez pitched pretty well in the start - gave up only 3 runs in 7 innings and becoming the second starter in the series (John Maine) to pitch well and lose because of the Mets depleted lineup. Walks hurt him, I believe (without checking) that 2 of the three he walked ended up scoring in the loss.

The good news - David Wright's injury was a one gamer (though we will all be paying attention to his back), Beltran should be back this week and Jose Valentin is returning this week - hopefully setting up a sick platoon (Valentine against righties, Easley against lefties) at second base.

The bad - Alou's quad seems to be stuck in neutral - a bad sign for a man his age. It's been three weeks since he injured the quad and it's not getting better. Although he was an injury risk when the Mets signed him, he was raking before the injury. Sadly, there is only one Endy Chavez and he cannot play two outfield spots at the same time. With Green also out of the lineup with the toe, the Mets have been forced to use 5th and even 6th outfielders on a regular basis.

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Big Deal:
A-Rod's ninth inning home run last night probably saved some jobs, but at the end of the day, the Yankees remain 12.5 games back of the cruising Red Sox while the Yankees continue to struggle with injuries. Word on the radio was that Petite was hurt somehow last night and we have all been afflicted with the news of Roger Clemens and his balky groin.
While it is always a bad idea to count out the Yankees (don't they seem to be in peril at the beginning of every season?), this year certainly feels different.
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Being Cavalier About the Whole Thing:
Taking nothing away from Lebron James' game for the ages in game five, shouldn't the league be concerned that their next big thing was so wiped from the experience that he managed just 3 of 11 shots in game six at home?? Was James so confident in his crappy team that he figured it was no big deal to go back to the Palace for a deciding game seven? It makes no sense to me. And remember, the Cavs didn't run away with game 6 until the end. Can you imagine Michael Jordan going into a game six at home and not smell blood and take care of business?
Honestly, it's all moot anyway. The Cavs offense is very simple - give the ball to Lebron 30 feet from the basket and let him operate. The Spurs are very balanced on both ends of the floor and will run multiple defenders at Lebron. They will also make him work harder on defense that the Pistons did.
Result - Spurs in 5. I'm tempted to predict a sweep but I think you need to give Lebron a "no way we are losing all three games at home" game.


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