NBA Finals & MLB Report

NBA...MLB...College Football Update

IT'S NBA FINALS NEWS & NOTES …
OUR MLB REPORT
LETS YOU KNOW WHAT FIVE (5) EVERYDAY PLAYERS
ARE SIMPLY KILLING THEIR OWN TEAMS IN 2011 …
PLUS THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
BRINGS YOU THIS YEAR'S BEST COACHING HIRES
AND A LIST OF ALL 21 CHANGES AT THE TOP

So, the NBA Finals won't resume until Sunday night in South Beach and we just gotta ask:

Is that enough time for Heat guard Dwyane Wade's hip pointer injury to heal?
Is that too much time for Miami's LeBron James to be spending on his Twitter account?
And can the Dallas Mavericks do what last year's Boston Celtics could not do and that is win one of two away tilts in either Game 6 or in Game 7 (the C's were in this exact situation last June but lost 89-67 in Game 6 and then came up short 83-79 in Game 7)?

We'll have plenty of Game 6 analysis in our game-day preview right here in Jim Sez – so don't miss out – and today we'll concentrate mainly on MLB and NCAA Football News/Notes but first this key reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will get you all the NBA Finals action – remember that's both the Sides & the Totals, folks – on game-day morning/afternoon as the Dallas Mavericks play at the Miami Heat in Game #6 Sunday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Just remember to call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and make sure you're all aboard for the ground-breaking hoops winners. Don't forget that today's the Belmont Stakes, here on our home track in New York and we're set with a win bet and exotics package that will make us some serious money. Plus, make sure you stay with us right through the summer with all our Major-League Baseball winners! The calling/check-in times are as follows: After 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays; after 11 a.m. ET for weekday Baseball and after 1 p.m. ET for all the weeknight action in the NBA Finals and MLB.

THE MLB REPORT –
WHY METS' BAY LEADS THE
CHARGES OF EVERYDAY PLAYERS
KILLING THEIR OWN TEAMS

We know, we know!

Scoring is way, way down in Major-League Baseball this season and whether you wish to “blame” that on bigger strike zones – or haven't you noticed that MLB umpires calling all the low pitches as strikes these days – or perhaps the end of the so-called “steroid era” the fact of the matter is there are lots of everyday big-leaguers who are really/truly killing their own teams. Sure, there's plenty of time left in this 2011 season for that to change but right now here's the Five (5) biggest culprits in terms of hurting their own teams' productivity:

JASON BAY, LF, NEW YORK METS – The second-year Mets outfielder has become a real punch line for this erratic club as he exited Thursday night's game in Milwaukee with just 2 HRs and 10 RBIs with a putrid .207 batting average (and he had the audacity to utilize the MLB “paternity leave” a few weeks back thus missing a couple of games despite the fact he didn't play at all in the first month because of some mysterious injury). A major bust and maybe the worst free-agent signing in New York sports history and now manager Terry Collins is benching him for a couple of games so that Bay can clear his head … puh-leeze! Bay is in an 0-for-23 funk at press time and there will be headlines in the NYC tabloids when/if he gets his next base hit.

JORGE CANTU, 1B, SAN DIEGO PADRES – The numbers are downright pathetic starting with a .196 batting average with 3 HRs and 16 RBI in some 138 at-bats and the Pods have received no pick-me-up at all from this one-time underrated member of the Florida Marlins. And how about just eight runs scored in 54 games!

NICK SWISHER, RF, NEW YORK YANKEES – Save for last week's three-run bomb in that three-game road sweep of the punch-less Oakland A's Swisher has not imposed his will on many other games this year and his .219 batting average with 5 HR and 26 RBI simply doesn't cut it on a team with a loaded lineup. In Thursday's ugly loss to the Boston Red Sox, Swisher botched a ball hit down the right field line – and his defense has been sub-par throughout the 2011 campaign.

JAYSON WERTH, RF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS – Think the pressure of his big-dollar free-agent contract hasn't gotten to this former Philadelphia Phillies stud? Sure, Werth has made some high-wire catches in the field this season but he's been a gaping hole in the Nats lineup and earlier this year clueless manager Jim Riggleman tried to “hide” Werth while he batted second in the order – what was that all about? Note that Werth headed into Friday's game in San Diego hitting just .244 with 8 HRs and 23 RBI in 217 at-bats.

ICHIRO SUZUKI, RF, SEATTLE MARINERS – Can you believe that this perennial All-Star finds his way on this list? The truth is Ichiro (batting .252) has struggled mightily with an on-base percentage of .306 this year he's scored just 30 runs and doesn't have a single dinger in 63 games. Even M's manager Eric Wedge says he's considered sitting Suzuki for a game or two but he's yet to pull the trigger on that decision that might not sit well with his veteran outfielder.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT –
THE BEST HIRES FOR 2011 SEASON

Okay, so the 2011 College Football Season is still two-plus months away but there was a whole lot of movin'-and-shakin' this past off-season and so let's take a few moments to dissect The Best Hires for the upcoming campaign:

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana – The former whiz-bang offensive coordinator of the Oklahoma Sooners figures to be the proverbial breath of fresh air for a Hoosiers program that's gone to just one bowl game the past two decades and no doubt the Bill Lynch Era (19-30 overall and 22-23-1 against the spread) was nothing to write home about despite that Insight Bowl appearance back in 2007. Wilson – the sixth coach at Indiana since 1996 – had been with Oklahoma since 2002 but was the sole offensive coordinator/play-caller since '06 and that's really when the Big 12 team blossomed into a scoring machine. Call it a bowl season in 2011 for IU and a successful run on tap for Wilson who helped Oklahoma average 36 points a game last year.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan – Here's another Big 10 team that changed skippers following a disappointing 2010 season (see 7-6 SU and 3-10 ATS) and maybe the best part about Hoke is that he's not Rich Rodriguez. The former boss-man at both Ball State and than San Diego State was a long-time Michigan assistant coach (see 1995-through-2002) and he served as the Wolverines' defensive line coach during the maize-and-blue's national title season back in 1997. Last year – his second season with the SDSU Aztecs – he turned the beat around following six straight losing seasons for the gridiron program and returned ‘em to prominence with a 9-4 SU mark and a win in the Poinsettia Bowl against Navy. P.S., even if Hoke was considered the “backup plan” to Jim Harbaugh he's a rock-solid choice and so don't be shocked if the Ann Arbor guys win nine games this year and play in a meaningful January bowl game.

JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt – Let's face it: That one-year stint for former Vandy head coach Robbie Caldwell just wasn't gonna work (he finished 2-10 SU and 3-9 ATS) after Bobby Johnson abruptly quit last July for still unknown reasons. Caldwell may have come across as some fun-loving SEC coach but he was in over his head – note the Commodores lost games last year by 43 points to Georgia and by 41 points to Florida – and now comes in an innovative offensive mind in Franklin. The former Maryland offensive coordinator may have not gotten his due thanks to the looming large presence of Ralph Friedgen at College Park but he should shape up a Vandy attack that last year ranked dead last in the SEC in points scored (16.9 ppg) and 112th nationally of 120 FBS teams in that points scored category.

Folks, now here's a complete list of the new head coaches at the 21 schools that made off-season changes and note we've projected 2011 grades for all of the folks named below:

SCHOOL
  NEW HEAD COACH    
PROJECTED 2011 GRADE
Arkansas State
Hugh Freeze  
C
Ball State 
Pete Lembo  
C+
Colorado  
Jon Embree  
C+
Connecticut 
Paul Pasqualoni 
D
Florida  
Will Muschamp  
C+
Indiana   
Kevin Wilson
A
Kent State  
Darrell Hazell 
C
UL-Lafayette      
Mark Hudspeth  
C
Maryland      
Randy Edsall  
C+
Miami  
Al Golden
B
Miami-Ohio
Don Treadwell
B
Michigan   
Brady Hoke
A
Minnesota  
Jerry Kill
B-
Northern Illinois 
Dave Doeren
C+
North Texas 
Dan McCarney
C+
Pittsburgh
Todd Graham
B
San Diego State 
Rocky Long
C-
Stanford   
David Shaw
C+
Temple
Steve Addazio  
D
Tulsa   
Bill Blankenship 
C
Vanderbilt 
James Franklin  
A

NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game #6 Preview in Sunday's edition of Jim Sez plus remember that there's lots more Major-League Baseball and College Football goodies coming your way all weekend long!

 


21
Aug

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