Tuesday June 22, 2004
TWINS AUTOGRAPH PARTY - I'll be there, at least for some of it. Let me know if you will be too.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK - I have added more background information to the question
TWINS GO TO FENWAY
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORT - Now showing - The Elizabethton Twins
ALL STAR-CALIBER NBA TRADE
SITUATIONAL THINKING (Twins Issues)
One of the beauties of baseball is that when we watch it on TV, it looks so easy. I mean, a guy throws a ball about 60 feet and someone tries to hit it and then they run fast and turn left, right? Ground balls and fly balls are easy to catch, right? It's pretty simple.
If you've never really played the game, you just don't know.
One of the beauties of writing a baseball blog is having the "right" to second-guess everything. I remember about five or six years ago, I was at a sports card shop in Fargo, North Dakota. The owner asked me what it was about baseball that made it my favorite sport to watch. He insisted that football, or even basketball, were far better or at least more exciting to watch.
My response, "Because I think the game as I watch it."
The owner told me that it was the simplest, best answer he had heard to the question.
So, what did I mean? Well, I just meant that as I watch a baseball game, I look at game situations and decide what I would do: if I was the manager, call if I was the catcher, throw if I was the pitcher? Having played for ball from t-ball to little league, to high school, amateur ball and even into college, I feel qualified to second-guess decisions made on the baseball field.
That ties into the baseball blogging world incredibly well, but it creates quite a problem for me. I have this forum to voice my opinions on personnel decisions made by Terry Ryan or in-game or lineup decisions of manager Ron Gardenhire. That seems, to me, to be the way things work in baseball blogs. No one's manager ever makes the right decisions. Every trade, free agent signing or transaction or any kind is terrible. Or, even if we like it, we feel that we have to over-analyze everything! It's as if we really think that if we ran the team, things would be perfect for our favorite team. And sometimes it comes across as if we know more than these guys. Come On! Ron Gardenhire has been in pro baseball for probably 25 years. Terry Ryan has been involved for probably just as long. Seriously, who am I to second-guess them? Well, I am a fan, which gives me the right, but I think I make my point.
And you know what? I love it. I enjoy writing it, and I enjoy reading all the other blogs out there that do the same.
However, at the same time, I feel that I have lost some of the allure that originally made me love the game of baseball. I miss being able to sit down on the couch and just watch and enjoy a Twins game. I hate that when Luis Rivas is on such a hot streak, as he is right now, a part of me is disappointed because it hurts the chance of Michael Cuddyer getting into the lineup. I wish I could listen to Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven analyze the games without question or second-guessing things they say (like "Torii Hunter is the kind of player who can carry a team for a stretch" or "Cristian Guzman is one of the best shortstops in the American League.")
The fact is that Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan are making decisions that they feel are in the team's best interest both for now and for the future. They are not out to frustrate their fans, they are out to win games. And, it is very hard to argue with their success. Gardy took over a team that Tom Kelly built into a contender. He took over as the Cleveland Indians were disbanding and the Central became weak. However, the team has won the last two division titles and are two games ahead of the White Sox to lead the AL Central at this point.
So, as much as we want to whine and complain (and I am just as guilty as anyone), it can and should not be forgotten that this team is pretty good and the decisions these guys have made have helped to make the team winners.
What I want to do today is take a look at some of the "issues" that some of us stat-crazed, uber-fans complain about. I will try to discuss the situation, what I would like to see happen and what Gardy might be thinking (I emphasize 'might' because I really don't know and can only venture a guess). So, let's get to it:
SITUATION #1 - The Second Base Position
What has Happened - Luis Rivas has been really, really terrible the last few seasons and except for his past two weeks, where he has been incredible, he has shown no signs of improvement. He gets a lot of credit for being a good defensive second baseman but again, if you take away the last couple of weeks, he has zero range and very slow feet. When Rivas was on the Disabled List, the Twins gave the 2B job to Michael Cuddyer. First, Cuddyer ripped the ball with consistent playing time, and although he is not quite to Rivas' level defensively, he has not hurt the team. Cuddyer's hitting potential is far higher than Rivas.
What Seth Thinks - Of course I think that Michael Cuddyer belongs in the every day starting lineup. I was a Rivas supporter for a long time, but at some point, it just became too difficult to continue to make up positives about him. I realize that with Cuddyer, it is a defensive risk, but his bat will more than make up the difference.
What the Twins are Thinking - #1, and don't pretend that it doesn't play a factor, Luis Rivas is making $1.5 million this year. Michael Cuddyer is making about $320,000. Luis Rivas has been the starter for the last three-plus seasons. A team generally believes that a player should not lose his position because of injury. So, when Rivas came back off the DL, Gardy did the right thing by starting Luis. Rivas' success has surprised everyone. I would even think it surprises the Twins. I really think that they were probably going to make the change more permanent had Rivas struggled in his first week back. So, unless he falls flat on his face, it would appear that Rivas will be the Twins second baseman the rest of the year... and I am sure that it is just a matter of time before Rivas does as such. So, let's just enjoy Luis Rivas success while it lasts.
SITUATION #2 - JUSTIN MORNEAU
What has Happened - If not for Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau would be the greatest Twins prospect in the past decade. He has racked up incredible minor league numbers the last two years. Given opportunity at the big league level, he has continued to hit for power. However, the team feels that he hasn't made certain adjustments. So, they continue to send him back to Rochester, mess with his head and his swing, and somehow he continues to dominate AAA pitching. Doug Mientkeiwicz is a Gold Glover at 1B. Matthew LeCroy is the DH.
What Seth Thinks - I believe that Justin Morneau should be in the Twins every day lineup, playing either DH or 1B. That said, Gardy and "hitting" coach Scott Ullger continue to try to tinker with his swing and mess with his approach. Also, Gardy will not bench Doug Mientkiewicz no matter how poorly he hits. He has also made it abundantly clear that he wants to give Matthew LeCroy at bats as the DH. So, I have changed my opinion on this situation. I really think that it would be best for Justin Morneau to spend the entire season at Rochester. Morneau should absolutely NOT be in the major leagues as a pinch-hitter. That does him and the Twins no good. Down there, he can develop confidence as he absolutely crushes AAA pitchers. He will be able to play for his native Canada in the Olympic Games this summer. However, the team NEEDS to free up a position for Morneau in 2005. That may mean a trade of Mientkiewicz or the decision to make Matthew LeCroy the backup catcher. Along with Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau is a future middle of the lineup mashers.
What the Twins are Thinking - Again, the Twins want to win now. They don't think that Justin Morneau is a better hitter than either Doug Mientkiewicz or Matthew LeCroy (Seth Opinion - They're Wrong!). They feel that, despite the fact that he hits for far more power and just as much average and on-base percentage, he strikes out too much. (that's like saying the Reds shouldn't play Adam Dunn because he strikes out too much or the Phillies should bench Jim Thome because he strikes out too much.) They feel that Morneau can't play first base defensively.
SITUATION #3 - JACQUE JONES
What has happened - In the offseason, it was rumored that the Twins were trying their 'best' to deal Jacque Jones. However, Terry Ryan was unable to get what he felt he should for Jones, so he is still here. This year, Jones leads the Twins in home runs and RBI and even has 15 walks already this season. He is a great defensive outfielder. However, the Twins have an incredible, excessive amount of depth in the outfield. The Twins really could use another solid starting pitcher or two and Jacque is set to make a lot of money in arbitration next winter.
What Seth Thinks - As I've written before, in the offseason, Terry Ryan made the "poor" decision of choosing Shannon Stewart over Jacque Jones. I absolutely hate the concept of making an in-season trade of one of your key players. The Twins messed up a few years ago when they traded Matt Lawton, their best hitter, for Rick Reed. At the time, Terry Ryan thought he had a deal to bring Shannon Stewart to the Twins, but that trade fell through. To me, trading Jacque Jones would be a very similar situation. The rumored names involved include Freddy Garcia and Kris Benson. Personally, I don't think either of them are worth Jacque Jones. I realize Garcia has been great this year, but I am still leery of him. Benson is an injury waiting to happen, and an expensive one at that. This is another situation where I have changed my mind though. The difference between now and 2001 is that the Twins have plenty of players who could step into the role and contribute. When Stewart comes back, the Twins need to find a place for Lew Ford, to keep his deserving bat in the lineup. An option would be to platoon Ford in right against left-handed pitchers, but we know Gardy won't do that. If the Twins can get a legitimate starting pitcher, and I mean a dominant, Randy Johnson type of pitcher, I would support a Jacque Jones trade. Personally, I would prefer a Shannon Stewart trade (move Jones back to LF and Ford in RF), but that would be Mr. Ryan admitting he made a mistake.
What the Twins are thinking - I really am not sure. They are, or course, saying the right things, saying they want Jones on the roster. But I have to believe that Terry Ryan is getting phone calls on Jones and is maybe even considering some of them. You have to think that the Twins realize their outfield situation. Michael Restovich has gone from top prospect to AAA burnout who will never get a shot with the Twins. Jason Kubel is now almost ready for a big league opportunity, but will he ever get one? I think they know that they have the depth to get players that can help them win now (meaning, pitching).
SITUATION #4 - STARTING ROTATION
What has happened - Brad Radke has been very good and consistent. Carlos Silva has been a very pleasant surprise with adequate numbers. Johan Santana looks like he has turned the corner back to potential superstar starter. Kyle Lohse has been very bad. The 5th Starter spot has been a mess.
What Seth Thinks - Radke is solid. Silva should continue to be good, although he may go through another dead arm period or two. Santana should be incredible. Hopefully he will meet his potential the rest of the season. I really, really want to think that Kyle Lohse is about to start pitching like we know he can. I think he is struggling mentally right now, and it could just be getting one great start, where he doesn't have that one bad inning that has continued to plague him all season. Rick Helling got hurt, and then he got absolutely shelled in his minor league starts. He would have been terrible for the Twins. Peter Munro would have been solid. Seth Greisinger was not good in his opportunity. That said, I am glad that he was sent back to AAA and will be given the chance to work his way back. He is a former very high draft pick who has simply been hurt so much in his career. I think he's worth stocking at AAA until he either proves that he can still meet such high potential or that he never will. Matt Guerrier is now the Twins 5th starter. I thought his first start, despite giving up 3 runs in 4 innings, was something that he can build on. I think if JD Durbin had been healthy at this point, we would see him in a Twins uniform. I also think it is worth watching Scott Baker's performances at New Britain. He may be a dark horse candidate.
What the Twins are Thinking - I am happy that the Twins have decided that it is OK to skip the 5th spot in the rotation this time through. I know that they want to be very conservative with their starting staff.
SITUATION #5 - THE BULLPEN
What has happened - Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins are gone and putting up great numbers as closers for their new respective teams. The Twins got Joe Nathan in return for AJ Pierzynski and he has been every bit as good and dominant as Guardado ever was. Juan Rincon has continued to be very solid, picking up on where he finished last season. I think Aaron Fultz has proven to be very good. That is very good because JC Romero is a head case who exploded this year before finally being sent down to AAA where he is starting just to get innings. And I have been pleasantly surprised by the success of Joe Roa. Terry Mulholland was brought in and has performed admirably. Grant Balfour, after being horrid in his first two or three outings, has been solid in non-crucial game situations. The Twins have lost Michael Nakamura and Brad Thomas to claims/trades.
What Seth Thinks - I hated to see Nakamura lost for nothing, but he has struggled in his brief stints in the big leagues. I just like his strikeout rate. Aside from Romero, I really, am very pleased with the bullpen's performance. I am not surprised at all by the success of Nathan, Rincon or Fultz, but think that Mulholland and Roa have been better than I expected. A lot of people did not want either of these guys on the roster, but I don't know where the team would be without some of the innings they have eaten up! It is just a matter of time before Jesse Crain appears.
What the Twins are Thinking - I really, really think that they had something against Nakamura because they gave up on him early in the spring and had no problem losing him. I just think that the Twins staff has to be thrilled about the success of their bullpen. Again, the obvious exception is JC Romero, but again, that is not an issue for them right now. When he gets things figured out in his head and starts throwing more strikes, he will be back and hopefully back to his old self. Until then Fultz and Mulholland are the lefties in the pen and if Fultz can't go, Mulholland needs to pitch in tight situations. Jesse Crain will probably be up in August.
SITUATION #6 - Shortstop
What has happened - Christian Guzman was an All-Star... a long time ago. Since then he has battled injuries and people questioning his effort. He used to hit a lot of triples, but has just a couple this year. Like Rivas, he has a couple of spurts each year where he teases Twins fans. He is making about $3.5 million this year. He has a team option for next year at over $5 million for next year.
What Seth Thinks - There is absolutely no justification that I could come up with to validate a "small-market team" giving Guzman $5 million next year. Jason Bartlett should be ready to take over the Twins shortstop position next season. He should put up numbers very similar to Guzman's and he is a better base runner. He will also save the team over $4.5 million that could be used more wisely elsewhere. That said, I think that Guzzy takes fare too much grief for his "effort." Yes, it doesn't always look like he's trying, but I'm sure he is. He just looks very smooth at times. When Guzman gets to a groundball, he makes the play. Last year, he had just seven errors on the season. Also like Rivas, despite his great speed, he does not show much range in the infield.
What the Twins are Thinking - I really have to wonder if the Twins would consider picking up Guzman's option if he does finish this season strongly. However, I think that Rivas and Guzman both would have to be incredibly impressive for the Twins to pay either what they would get paid next year. The Twins brass does not seem as excited about Jason Bartlett's future as I do. They may simply find a cheap free agent instead.
SITUATION #7 - Corey Koskie
What has happened - Corey Koskie has been the Twins best hitter over the last four or five seasons... when healthy. However, health is such a big question mark with Koskie as he has missed a lot of games for various reasons over the past few seasons. He becomes a free agent at season's end.
What Seth Thinks - I think Koskie should be a Twin for life. However, I don't think he should get a raise over his current $4 million deal. I would love to see the Twins sign him to an incentive-laden contract based on number of games played. Terry Tiffee could play 3B, or even platoon with Michael Cuddyer there next season. But Tiffee himself has been dealing with injuries much of this season as well, and as I already mentioned, I think that Cuddyer should be the Twins full-time 2B next year.
What the Twins are Thinking - I do think that Koskie wants to stay a Twin, and I do think that the Twins would like to keep him around.
So, there you have it, some situations that the Twins management are considering now. I certainly have my opinions on them, and may chose to second-guess some of them in this place. However, I have to keep reminding myself (and feel free to catch me too, if you want) that Gardy and Terry Ryan are doing what they feel is in the interest of the team. Even if we want to think we're pretty smart. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts on any of these thoughts, please e-mail me.
TWINS AUTOGRAPH PARTY UPDATE - The below is what I wrote last week. I asked the question "Will I be going again this year?" Well, over the weekend, I found out that the answer to that question is "Yes." I will be going to the Twins/Brewers game on Friday night and then spend some time at the Autograph party on Saturday.
I just got some e-mail from the Twins on their annual Autograph Party. It will take place on the plaza outside the Metrodome on Saturday, June 26, from 11:30 - 5:15. Current Twins will sign autographs from 12:30-2:00. Twins Alumni will sign from 2:30-4:00. There will be a live memorabilia auction from 4:00-5:15. There will also be a silent auction throughout the day. Oh, and the Twins will play the Milwaukee Brewers at 6:10 that night!
I went to the Autograph Party last year for a couple of hours. The event is free to get into. If you would like to get autographs, you will need to buy an autograph card for $25. Of course, the money all goes to charity. I actually took a few pictures of the event, which you can find in my Photo Album, so check those out. I did go through the tent with all the Silent Auction items. I got goose bumps seeing all of the stuff. Autographs bats and balls and helmets and pictures of current and former Twins players. There are also autographed paraphernalia players from other teams or other sports. There is some great stuff.
Will I be going again this year? Well, we will have to see if I can find anyone to go with me. I would love to hang out there all day! I think it would be a lot of fun to talk to some of the players if possible. I know that I went there with my sister last year, and we both agreed that this event would be wonderful to take a 5-10 year old kid to. But it is also great for the adults. I don't like all of the autograph hounds. When I say that, I don't mean guys like me, who would love to get autographs just to collect for myself. I would also love to go there and just shake hands with the players, and maybe take a picture with them to capture the moment. No, what I mean are the adults who show up with five dozen baseballs or a couple dozen bats and sprint from line to line. They aren't there to enjoy the opportunity to meet with the players. They are there to capitalize on the event. They will be selling much of what they acquire. That is why I have absolutely no problem with the team charging money for the autograph cards.
So, in summary, if at all possible, head to the Metrodome on Saturday, June 26 for the Autograph Party.
There's Still TIME!! It may look bleak, but there is still a chance. If you want, be sure to head over to The View from The Bleachers and vote in The World Series of Blogs! I am in contention in the American League with Athletics Nation, Blue Jay Way and Firebrand (Red Sox). I am still pretty much getting crushed, so help me out, check out the site and vote early and often!
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK - I started posting this question toward the end of last week, and I wanted to give it a more prominent spot in the entry today. I have also added a little more to it , a little more to consider.
As I have mentioned time and time again, I would encourage everyone to read and bookmark the Baseball Savant website. It is well worth the read every time he writes. About once a week, David updates each team's Pythagorean Numbers, meaning, based on a team's Run Differential, you can predict what record a team will end up with. Here is how the American League Central will look at season's end, according to these numbers:
1.White Sox 98-64 (+7)
2.Tigers 83-79 (+5)
3.Indians 79-83 (+6)
4.Twins 78-84 (+3)
5.Royals 61-101 (-12)
The Savant begins his analysis with this:
The Twins really do have to consider themselves the luckiest team in the AL. They really can't hit ranking 10th in the AL in runs scored per game, and their pitching/defense isn't much better ranking 8th in the AL in runs allowed per game, but here they sit a half a game out of first place in the AL Central.
So, the question of the week is this... Why do the Twins consistently have a better actual record than they "should" according to this measure? For a little background information, consider this:
Season Pythagorean Number Actual Record Differential
2000 69-93 69-93 0
2001 81-81 85-77 +4
2002 86-75 94-67 +8
2003 85-77 90-72 +5
So, as you can see, using Run Differential to predict a team's season record is relatively close. However, the Twins are an extreme exception. Most team's actual records are even closer to their Pythagorean numbers. But over the last three seasons, the Twins have won 17 games more than they should, 20 more if you count this year's numbers too.
To use a small example, remember the Twins/White Sox first series of the season? The Twins won two one-run games, but the White Sox won the other game big. So for the series, the Twins were outscored like 18-8 (numbers approximate). By that, the Twins should have lost 2 out of three, but instead won 2 out of three.
In addition to this look at the Twins, I received my Sunday Statistic package from Lee Sinnis' ATM Reports. I know I have mentioned it before, but signing up for his daily report is one of the best things a baseball fan can do. Here is where the Twins and White Sox rank in terms of RCAA (Runs Created Above Average):
1 Whitesox 41
T2 Tigers 32
T2 Yankees 32
4 Redsox 30
5 Angels 17
6 Indians 0
7 Royals -2
8 Mariners -7
9 A's -10
10 Orioles -13
11 BlueJays -34
T12 Devil Rays -39
T12 Twins -39
14 Rangers -61
So there you see it. The White Sox are best in the American League 80 RCAA more than the Twins, yet the Twins are 1.5 games ahead of the Sox in the division.
In case you were curious, here is how the Twins players rank individually in RCAA:
Lew Ford 11
Joe Mauer 4
Shannon Stewart 4
Corey Koskie 3
Matthew LeCroy 3
Justin Morneau 2
Rob Bowen 0
Nick Punto 0
Jose Offerman -1
Michael Restovich -1
Alex Prieto -2
Luis Rivas -2
Torii Hunter -4
Jacque Jones -5
Michael Cuddyer -6
Michael Ryan -6
Doug Mientkiewicz -11
Henry Blanco -13
Cristian Guzman -15
Anyway, therein lies the question... why have the Twins played above their "expected" level? David and I have spent a lot of time discussing this issue. What is it about the Twins or their style of play that accounts for this?
Please think it over and e-mail me your responses. I will post your thoughts on Friday, so please e-mail me your response before Thursday. Thanks!
TWINS GO TO FENWAY
Johan Santana was named the AL Player of the Week when he went 2-0 against National League teams and even hit well.
Tonight, the Twins start a three game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox with a two-game lead over the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox have probably the second best team in baseball, second only to their rivals, the New York Yankees. They have such a tough team. They have an offense that includes Manny Ramirez and the recently healthy Nomar Garciaparra and more.
They have former Twins DH David Ortiz who leads the American League with 64 RBI. I hear so many people on TV and other places that the Twins made such a huge mistake in letting Ortiz go. Let's go back to that time and think about that situation for a minute. We all knew that Ortiz was a capable big league hitter. However, we need to remember that he was frequently hurt. We also shouldn't forget that he was arbitration eligible, so the Twins could not have signed him for the $1.5 million that the Red Sox got him for in 2003. No, they would have probably gone to arbitration with him and had to pay him about $4 million. In other words, a lot of money for a decent-hitting, injury-risk DH. That said, I like Ortiz as much as anyone. I love reading stories about jokes he played (or was the recipient of), and I love seeing how he is able to bring a team together.
Oh, did I mention that the Red Sox have a staff that includes Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling? Yeah, they are a very solid team! This will be quite a challenge for the Twins. Here are the scheduled pitching matchups:
Tuesday - 6:05 - Kyle Lohse (2-4, 5.38, 1.63, .298) vs Curt Schilling (8-4, 3.31, 1.16, .254)
Wednesday - 6:05 - Carlos Silva (7-4, 4.13, 1.48, .316) vs Derek Lowe (6-5, 5.25, 1.71, .302)
Thursday - 12:05 - Brad Radke (4-3, 3.17, 1.21, .282) vs Tim Wakefield (4-5, 4.92, 1.44, .264)
So, can the Twins compete with the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees? E-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Yesterday, the calls came in and the Twins will have two representatives in the 2004 Futures Game in Houston on All-Star weekend. Justin Morneau will play for the World Team. He will be managed by Fernando Valenzuela. Jason Kubel will play for the USA Team and be managed by Goose Gossage.
Redwings 4, Columbus 5 - Seth Greisinger made another start for the Redwings. It didn't go so well. In 6 innings, he gave up five runs on 10 hits. He walked none, but he also struck out none. Joe Beimel pitched two scoreless innings and Adam Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth. Rochester had just seven hits for the game and no one player had more than one. Luis Rodriguez is playing 3B now for the injured Terry Tiffee and was 1-4 with his third HR of the year. LF Josh Rabe went 1-3 with a walk and his third homer of the season.
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS
New Britain 3, Trenton 2 - Jim Abbott picked up his second win of the season in giving up 2 runs in five innings. He walked three and struck out four. Jason Miller came in and gave three scoreless relief innings before Bobby Korecky pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save of the year. 3B Tommy Watkins went 2-4. CF James Tomlin was 2-3 with a double. 1B Garrett Jones' lone hit was his 9th homer of the year, a two-run shot.
FORT MYERS MIRACLE
The Miracle did not play. They have a couple of days off with the end of the Florida St. League's first half.
THE SWING OF THE QUAD CITIES
The Swing also had the day off.
ELIZABETHTON TWINS (ROOKIE LEAGUE)
E-Twins 1, Greenville 3 - The Twins Rookie League Elizabethton team got started last night. The Twins first first round pick, Trevor Plouffe got the start at SS and batted 2nd. He went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. The team as a whole had just three hits and struck out 13 times. Lets not forget that this is the first game with a wood bat for some of these guys. DH Jeremy Pickrel was 1-4 with an RBI double. Johnny Woodard and Landon Burt each had a single.
Any questions or comments on the Twins minor league system, e-mail me.
ALL-STAR-CALIBER NBA TRADE
Yesterday, ESPN announced that Tracy McGrady was about to get his wish and leave the Orlando Magic and become a Houston Rocket. The trade will not be announced until after the Charlotte Bobcats expansion picks, in case any of the players are taken. But here is now the trade sits as is:
Magic Trade Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard and Tyronn Lue to the Houston Rockets
Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato
OK, now that is a trade. The Magic lose McGrady, but first, they were bad with him. I think that the Magic come out very well. Francis, although I really don't think he's an All-Star, is a great point guard. Mobley is a solid scorer and will play a LOT. And Kelvin Cato is just a strong, veteran big man. Francis has definitely said he does not want to play for the Magic, so don't be surprised if he forces the Magic to make another trade. We'll see.
The Rockets are probably ok in this too. The fact is, if the Rockets want to win, they need to get the ball to Yao Ming. Francis and Mobley both shot too much to get the ball to Yao. McGrady will get shots too, but he is also known as a very unselfish on-court ball player, so maybe with him just being one person, it will be easier to mix Yao into the offensive sets.
Really, I think that this is a good trade for both teams if it goes down as expected. I really think that the Magic did very well in this deal, depending on if Francis is happy and stays, or what they are able to trade him for. Howard is a veteran and Lue is a decent point guard.
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
That is it for me for today. Hope your Monday was great and your Tuesday is far better!!!! As always, if you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
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