Goodbye, Tom Thibodeau. Hello, Fred Hoiberg.
The Chicago Bulls made it official yesterday on the farewell count, as they canned Thibodeau. The “search” for the next head coach is now underway, but those in the know are convinced that’s just window dressing and that Hoiberg has already all but signed on the dotted line.
Thibodeau is clearly a good NBA coach. Naysayers might point to the losing record in the playoffs. But I’ll go the other way and will remain impressed with what Thibs accomplished during his regular seasons at the Bulls helm. Fielding a healthy roster was an issue throughout his tenure and it’s really no secret that the coach and team management just weren’t on the same page. Jimmy Butler became a star on Thibodeau’s watch and my first impulse is that this team might take a step backward next season. Yes, the Bulls will likely field a more potent offense that is better in transition than Thib’s teams were. But you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t have the same defensive acumen.
As for where Thibodeau lands, any of the teams with current openings are now free to add Thibs to their wish list. He hadn’t been mentioned as a candidate for the open New Orleans or Orlando gigs. That could certainly change now and off the top, I can see Thibodeau being a great fit for the Pelicans.
The Bulls are still longing for a return to their championship glory days. But there’s no one named Michael Jordan on the current roster. The most talented player is Derrick Rose, but he has trouble staying on the court. I’m not going to crush the Bulls for making this move, if only because management really does need to have someone they can work more closely with doing the coaching. It’s in fact a real possibility that his franchise had gone as far as they could go considering what seemed to be philosophical differences between the suits and the coach that were beyond repairing. That being the apparent case, someone had to go, and as is almost always the case, it turned out to be the coach.
Nevertheless, I’ll offer that the winner here will be Tom Thibodeau as he will get another job and in all likelihood, more control. As for the Bulls, they might be more entertaining to watch next season and beyond, but I’m not sure that will translate into the title contention they’re looking for.
Another step on Thursday with the Red Sox and Indians, and I’ll try to maintain tonight with what will likely be a little deeper card. Get the goods on how to receive all my plays along with a great introductory guarantee by emailing me directly at email@example.com.
Nice work by Corey Kluber and the Indians as the Thursday free play winner. The Red Sox and Rangers continue their weekend series tonight at Arlington, and that’s the Friday comp.
RED SOX (Wright) @ RANGERS (Gallardo)
Take: RANGERS -117 (Don Best Consensus Line at Publication Time)
There was finally some good news for Red Sox Nation on Thursday night. Highly touted prospect Eduardo Rodriguez enjoyed a spectacular debut, the Bosox actually managed to plate five runs,. and the struggling entry got itself a needed win with the 5-1 nod over the Rangers.
Here’s the bad news. Rodriguez will not be allowed to pitch on zero days rest, and the Boston offense was yet again very inefficient despite the victory. The Red Sox had 19 batters reach base on Thursday evening. So scoring only five runs isn’t exactly reason to schedule a victory parade. Nice win to be sure, but in the process the Red Sox managed to also hit into a whopping five double plays. I’m glad the Sox won, both as a fan and as a bettor as they were a play last night. But let’s face it, the fact is that without Rodriguez pitching as brilliantly as he did in his first big league start, Boston could well have been staring at yet another loss.
Steven Wright will make the start tonight, and he’s somewhat tough to project, as is so often the case with knuckleball specialists. If his pitches are dancing, he’ll be a handful for the Texas hitters. If Wright ends up missing in the strike zone, he’ll get beaten up by some decent Rangers hitters, including the very hot Prince Fielder.
Yovani Gallardo will throw for the home team, and while his ace level days are long gone, Gallardo is pitching respectable ball for the Rangers. Gallardo will get to face a Red Sox lineup that just isn’t that daunting right now. That might not be the case on paper, as there are some very talented players in the Boston bating order. But they haven’t hit as a team for some time now and again, whole they scored five runs on Thursday, it was hardly what one could possible term as any kind of a breakout with those five GIDP’s.
The hot run for Texas has been a surprise, and now that they’ve lose a couple in succession, it’s probably somewhat likely we’re going to witness some regression as I don’t see this as a strong team. But I don’t mind the matchup on the mound here as I’m giving Gallardo a definite edge over Wright. And I didn’t see any realistic improvement from the recently anemic Boston offense as they did very little against Nick Martinez and the late game outburst was mostly thanks to some bad bullpen work by the Rangers. I see Texas as the more likely winner tonight, and the price is acceptable enough to tab the Rangers as the free play for the day.
FanDuel Value Play, Friday 5/29
Mitch Moreland, OF $2800
Moreland went hitless on Thursday night against the very tough lefty serves of Eduardo Rodriguez. But the veteran 1B/OF has been hitting well lately and I like his chances of getting some good work done tonight against knuckleballer Steven Wright. The Boston righty has done okay thus far at keeping the ball in the park, but to me that’s always a concern with knuckleballers. When they miss in the strike zone, the ball can often go a long distance and Moreland has the capability of driving it deep in this ballpark. Early weather forecast calls for a breeze blowing out at Arlington, so I’ll tab Moreland a possible long ball candidate this evening. Moreland meets the value criteria, as he’s cheap enough at $2800 and buying him means more dollars available to spend elsewhere on stars.