I've been highly critical of Brad Ausmus during his tenure as manager of the Detroit Tigers. Ausmus is highly intelligent, and obviously knows the game. But I just don't think he has the instincts that make for a good manager, at least not in-game. I obviously can't speak on anything else related to the running of the team, so all I can go by is based on decisions made while the games are being played.
That said, the collapse of the Tigers is hardly all the fault of Ausmus. Fact is, it's upper management that is mostly responsible for what is now a train wreck.
The Tigers appear to be headed for some tough times. There isn't much on the way down on the farm and the nucleus of the parent team is aging. In other words, this team is in a world of hurt and simply canning Ausmmus won't solve much of anything.
It's pretty obvious that Detroit has to go into sell mode between now and the trade deadline. That means biting the bullet and moving some quality veterans for prospects who ...
Asdrubal Cabrera is unhappy. The veteran Mets shortstop is evidently displeased about a variety of things. But Cabrera decided to go public on Friday by letting the media know he wants to be traded.
Cabrera has had a solid big league career and while his best days are behind him, he's clearly still good enough to play in the majors. Just not at shortstop. Cabrera just doesn't have any range left and that's kind of a big deal at shortstop. Plus, the Mets have a very hot prospect on the way as Amed Rosario's apprenticeship on the farm is pretty much complete. Rosario has five-tool potential and he is going to be the starting shortstop for the 2018 Mets.
As for Cabrera, he committed what for me is a cardinal sin. He took his beef outside the locker room. Maybe it's just my style, but if I'm a GM, I have no interest in a fading player who can't keep his mouth shut and act like a professional. Make no mistake, potential trade partners for the Mets are going to take note of Cabrera's ...
If you're a heavy duty MLB viewer as I am, I'm guessing you might be sharing my sentiments on one aspect of the game.
There's just no way to justify how subpar far too many of the umpires are when it comes to calling balls and strikes.
I know how difficult the job is. There is no easy aspect of umpiring at the major league level. So this really isn't a nasty criticism of the men in blue.
But the fact is there are way too many calls being made that are just plain wrong. It's time to fix the problem.
If you've not seen the robot ump system in use, search it and see for yourself. It works. It gets all the ball and strikes correct. Not just most of them, but all of them.
I don't want to hear the argument that the umpires are part of the game. They aren't, or at the very least they shouldn't be. The game is between the two baseball teams in action, and that's it. If there's a method in place to get more calls right, I'm all for it. I don't want to see umps deciding games ...
Quick blog tonight. That means a recap of Wednesday's results, my obligatory promo, plus the Thursday free play.
My Wednesday was a 2-2 split, with both favorites winning and both dogs blowing late leads to lose. One of the losers was Philly. If you watched that game, I think you'll agree we were looking at a minor league team in the late innings. Player runs through a stop sign to get thrown at home by a mile. Relief pitcher balks and then throws a pickoff toss into the stands.
There was also a bizarre comeback of sorts by the Mariners for one of the winners. Justin Verlander was vintage JV through the first 5.1 innings, 16 up and 16 down. He then proceeded to fall apart and the hapless Detroit pen took care of the rest. I'll just say the Seattle win offset the Philly loss.
Here's the daily plug. If you can locate a more complete service in terms of the info, buy it. My Summer Special includes all my plays in all the sports I wager on, the daily Pros vs. Joes rundown, plus ...
Check-in time on the MLB Over/Under season win totals I played prior to the start of the season. I think it's safe to say I'm pleased with the progress to date on these seven wagers.
Marlins Under 77.5... Miami is on pace to win 73 games. I don't like the starting pitching any better than before the season started. But admittedly, residence in the NL East could be a plus for this team moving forward.
Padres Under 66.5...San Diego is on pace for 63 wins. The downside on this one is that the Friars play very hard despite a really limited roster. The upside is that they've got a load of games remaining against the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers. I still like my chances on this one.
Angels Over 79.5...The Halos are on pace to win 81 games. I feel pretty good about this play as the team has hung in with Trout missing lots of action. I'm actually thrilled to see them still at .500.
Twins Over 74.5... Minnesota is on pace to win 83 games, so I'm ahead by a good margin here. ...
Quick blog today, with just the Monday recap and the Tuesday free play. I'll return on Wednesday with some baseball notes which everyone will hopefully find interesting.
Monday was a wash at 1-1-1, and while I'd rather have a plus day, I've never been bothered much by splitting out unless there was some really rough luck. None of that on Monday, and in fact the push was pretty fortunate.
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Good win by the Mariners as the Monday free play. I'm right back at Safeco for another bet on that side tonight.
TIGERS at MARINERS (Zimmermann vs. Miranda)
Take: MARINERS -1
I'm creating a -1 line here by splitting my wager between the money line and runs line. ML is right around -145, RL is ...
No one will know the true winner of the big pre-draft NBA deal between the Celtics and 76ers for some time. But it's fun to speculate on who will come out on top.
The general consensus is that there isn't that much separation between the top four projected picks in this year's draft class. If that turns out to be an accurate assessment, this will end up being a good deal for Boston. They'll get a player they feel is right at the same level as the guy they would have chosen at #1, and they'll also have scored two more top round picks down the road.
Thus, if the draft gurus and high hoop IQ types are on the money, this was a no brainer for the Celtics and another dumb move by the downtrodden 76ers.
Here's my take. I really like Markelle Fultz. I think he's clearly the best potential player in this year's draft and I see him being a big star at the next level. He was outstanding at Washington in his freshman season, in spite of nagging knee issues, what I would call terrible ...
Congratulations to Andre Ward. His rematch with Sergey Kovalev ended in the eight round via TKO. A low blow by Ward didn't hurt the cause, but Kovalev was fading, just as he did in the first matchup between these two.
Earlier this week on The Las Vegas Sportsline (weekdays 2-3PDT, ESPN Las Vegas) I made mention of what I feel is a stamina issue for Kovalev. It's not a matter of training properly. Some great athletes are simply a little shorter on endurance than others, and I feel Kovalev falls into that realm.
As for interest in the fight, let's just say it was scant. My Twitter @@davecokin) timeline is a great barometer for me to go by. I follow sports almost exclusively on Twitter (unlike Facebook, where my friends list is far more eclectic). For Kovalev-Ward, aside from the journalists I follow who were covering the fight in person at Mandalay Bay, there was very little mention elsewhere.
Like it or not, that won't be the case when Mayweather-McGregor takes place in late ...
The NBA season was a colossal bore for many fans. The Warriors and Cavaliers were heavy favorites to meet in the Finals again, and that's exactly what happened. The playoffs offered very little in the way of meaningful suspense.
The good news is there is some tension building in terms of what the Boston Celtics are going to do with the number one overall pick in the forthcoming draft.
The consensus all along has been that Markelle Fultz will be the number one selection. But now there's some big time buzz that the Philadelphia 76ers are willing to package draft picks, including the third overall that they presently own, to move up to #1 so they can snare Fultz.
There's no doubt the Celtics like Fultz and see him as a potential future superstar. But word is they also like Josh Jackson nearly as much as Fultz.
This possible deal isn't all that difficult to fathom happening. Boston feels good about its backcourt as it is. Adding Jackson and more draft picks is not a terrible ...
One of my quick blogs tonight, with a brief recap of the prior day's results, the daily plug for the consulting service and the Friday free play.
My Thursday was a mundane 1-2. No complaints as the two losers were simply wrong sides. I like my chances of snaring a nice profit tonight, as I've already played two games and might be adding a couple more during the day if the market cooperates.
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The Thursday free play was a bust from the outset as the Twins jumped all over Ariel Miranda and easily defeated the Twins. Here's the Friday free play.
The Washington Nationals need bullpen help. Everyone know this is the case. If the Nats can't fix the pen, they're not going to get to the World Series, simple as that.
But that relief corps repair isn't going to be easy. Unlike 2016, when there were some really good proven arms available at the trade deadline, the pickings are looking mighty slim in 2017.
The closers most likely available are David Robertson, Kelvin Herrera and AJ Ramos. That's not exactly the ultimate money in the bank trio, but beggars can't be choosers. Making matters worse for the Nationals is that everyone knows they have to make an upgrade, and any GM who doesn't max out on the return is flat out weak.
I don't think the Nationals are going to have any choice but to fork over a king's ransom. Dusty Baker is unhappy with the assortment of arms he has at his disposal, and he's been pretty much saying that since spring training got started. Now comes the news that some players are complaining as well. ...
There are times when I am simply dumbfounded by what seem to be blatantly awful decisions no big league manager should ever make.
A classic example of this occurred in the Tuesday night game between the Orioles and White Sox. Baltimore had squandered several good scoring chances early, but found themselves trailing only 2-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning.
Rookie pitcher Alec Asher had pitched a nice game for the Birds to that point. Three scoreless out of the gate, a rocky fourth in which he managed to escape a big crooked number while surrendering a couple of runs, and no problem getting through the fifth. But right from the start of the sixth inning, Asher looked gassed as his command suddenly went away.
I want to stress this is not a second guess on my part. Here's a series of three tweets I published, beginning with the situation being two on and none out.
Dave CokinVerified account @davecokin
Buck leaving Asher in to face any more hitters is ultra high ...