The Cardinal's Made Their Biggest Trade in Years, and It May Be One of Their Best Ever

The St. Louis Cardinals are not a team that frequently targets top players. For over a decade, they have had a never ending pipeline of solid players that has fueled them to four World Series visits and two World Series wins since 2004. After a dominant stretch though, their formula of relying on homegrown talent stopped working, and its caused a three year playoff drought for the redbirds, their longest since the late 90’s. Determined not to let another October come and go, the Cardinals seem to be making moves, as they just pulled off what may end up being the biggest trade this offseason by moving three players and a pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the perennial all-star Paul Goldschmidt. For a team that manages to come so close and just miss every year, a star like Goldy may be just what they Cards need to push themselves back over the top.

The last three seasons have been brutal for the Cardinals. In 2015, after winning 100 games and finishing with the best record in baseball, they lost a tough NLDS to their arch-rival Chicago Cubs in four games. Then, in 2016 they showed promise but lacked consistency, as they missed the playoffs by one game. 2017 was worse, as the team took a huge slide downward after the first month and finished four games out of the Wild Card. 2018 may have been the most heartbreaking, as the team treaded water all year up until August, where they took off after firing manager Mike Matheny. They did not lose a series that month, and managed to climb all the way to the first Wild Card,. In September, though, they fell short yet again, missing the playoffs by just a few games. Their huge comeback went for nought, and sent the team searching for answers.

The team’s offense has struggled to find an identity over that painful run. Their lineup had solid players like Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina, but nobody that could consistently carry a team. Now, with a star like Goldschmidt joining the fray, they may finally have that anchor whom they can rely on all year. Goldy is coming off of a year where he hit .290 with 33 home runs, and has not had a year with a WAR under 4.6 since 2012. He has also been an all-star every year of that stretch, and even led the Diamondbacks to the playoffs back in 2017 while being the majority of offensive production. He’s the type of consistently good player the Cards haven’t had, as their big hitters like Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna both were some of the streakiest players in the Bigs a year ago. Goldschmidt, however, may be the force they’ve been looking for to carry St. Louis back into the postseason.

While Goldschmidt will undoubtedly be good, there are other factors that will impact the effectiveness of this trade. They gave up prospects Luke Weaver and Carson Kelly for him, along with AAA shortstop Andy Young as well as a pick. Goldschmidt only has one year on his deal left, so if Weaver or Kelly wind up being anything special, the Cardinals may regret the move if they can’t resign him. Although they will have the finances to do so, as well as the baseball crazed environment players usually love, nothing is a given. People thought Brandon Heyward was a lock to stay their trade with the Atlanta Braves in 2015, but he jumped ship to Chicago after one year. If Goldschmidt does decide to leave after this season, it wouldn’t take much from Kelly or Weaver for the Diamondbacks to win the trade. There are always these risks, and the Cardinals surely realize that, but re-signing Goldschmidt is going to need to be a huge focus of theirs over the next few years.

The Cardinals need this move. They haven’t been able to survive with their lineup full of solid role players, and it has made life difficult for them. Now, with a. legitimate star they can lean on, they finally have an element to their came that they haven’t since Albert Pujols took of for the LA Angels after 2011. It may not be enough on tis own to take them back to October, but this is the most hopeful sign the Cards fans have had in a long time.

The Sad Story of Kemba Walker; a Superstar Lost in a Sea of Mediocrity

Kemba Walker must be the most frustrated player in the NBA. He went from a great college career, which he capped off with a championship run, to the then Charlotte Bobcats. It took him a while to develop, but over the last few years he has shown he is a legitimate star. Now, though, he is having what may be the best season of his career. And he is doing it on a team that not only can’t win, but doesn’t really seem to be trying to either.

Much was expected out of Kemba after his great career at UConn. He started as a top prospect, but didn’t have a very polished game his freshman season. He then had a much better Sophomore year, which lead many to believe he may transition into a truly great college point-guard in the future. The next year, he did just that, averaging 23.5 points, 4.5 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.9 steals a game. What was more remarkable, though, was how he carried the Huskies all the way to an NCAA championship that few saw coming. He impressed so much that the then Charlotte Bobcats decided he could be their point-guard of the future, and snatched him with the number 9 overall pick in the following draft.

It didn’t happen all at once. His defense never really carried over, and his scoring took a few seasons to translate. Everyone always saw the potential, but it wasn’t fully realized until his fifth year in Charlotte, when he put up 20.9 points a game with 5.2 assists, as well as showing much more efficiency with his shot. From there, it has only grown since, as the two full seasons since both yielded more points and assists per game, as well as a pair of all-star nods. Now, in 2018, he seems to have fully blossomed into the scoring machine people long expected him to become.

After proving that he was an all-star caliber player the last few years, he has reached a new level to his game, and set the NBA on fire in the process. He is averaging 28.2 points per game, which his five more than his previous career high of 23.2, while also having a carer high in assists as well, with 6.6. The advanced stats also show how dominant he’s become, as he has a 25 Player Efficiency Rating(PER). An average player has 15, so he is clearly setting himself apart from the rest of the NBA in a way he’s never done before.

There’s only one problem with Walker’s successs; it’s not enough. Despite their franchise player having his best year of his career, the Hornets have managed a lowly 9-10 record and are narrowly holding on to a play-off spot. Even if they hold on to their 8th seed, it would just mean they get an extra few games to be beaten down by however manages to finish atop the East. Walker simply has no talent around him. Although Miles Bridges looks like he may be good someday, and Molik Monk has played well since coming back from his injury, there really just isn’t a lot of help. They only have three players averaging double-digits, and their number two scorer, Jeremy Lamb, is only averaging half of Kemba’s output per night. This fact became abundantly clear a few games ago, when they lost in overtime to the Philadelphia 76’s despite Kemba dropping 60 points. That was the first time a player scored 60+ points and lost at home in 20 years. Clearly, no matter what level Kemba Walker plays at, Charlotte is a team without hope for this year.

Maybe Kemba should think of this as an audition. He’s a free-agent this offseason, so his performance may at least land him a lofty payday. What’s more, he was almost traded at the deadline last year. If the Hornets continue to play at this level, they may decide to finish a deal this year. That would at least give Walker a chance to play on a contender. Whatever happens, I’m sure Kemba Walker wants to win. Playing at a high-level and still lose be a terrible feeling, and nobody in the NBA understands that more than Walker.

Derrick Rose is Back; The Former MVP Has Finally Adapted, and May Be As Good As Ever Because Of It

Derrick Rose’s career may be one of the most tragic stories in sports history. At his best, he was at the very top of the game. He was the star in his hometown, and was good enough to dethrone King James in the MVP race while making his Bulls squad good enough to compete for championships. Then, when he seemed destined to be one of the greatest point-guards in history, it all collapsed. It started with one torn ACL, which then became knee injury after knee injury until it seemed like a miracle he could walk. In a matter of years, he went from the star of Chicago to being cut in midseason by a Cavaliers team that thought no point-guard was better than using him. When it all felt hopeless, the Minnesota Timberwolves, lacking depth at the guard position and desperate to make a play-off push, decided to give him a chance. While he was on and off after not playing consistently last season, he has turned that opportunity into something nobody expected; he has managed to once again make himself a legitimate NBA star.

For a long time, it looked like Derrick Rose could not adapt. He was a slasher whose injuries had drained him of his quickness, which meant that burst of speed he used to get to the rim was no longer there. It felt like watching a shell of his former self, and while the flashes were still there, few believed he would ever reach his former level of greatness ever again. Thinking along those lines, he was inevitably traded to the Knicks, who believed that maybe they could use him in their last ditch efforts at making a good team. It failed, and he had an average year in which he struggled with injuries and never really was able to consistently do the things he once did with ease. After that, he left for Cleveland, who desperately needed help at the point-guard position, having just traded their star, Kyrie Irving, for a less than suitable replacement in Isaiah Thomas, who would miss the first few weeks with injuries. Again, though, he struggled, and when it came time for the Cavs to rebuild their roster at the deadline, they no longer had a place for him. He was released and, for the first time in his career, unemployed. After a bad year, though, the Minnesota Timberwolves felt they could use him in their final push for a spot in the play-offs. While he wasn’t exactly stellar, he did manage to keep them afloat in the race enough that they let him keep his job. it was his chance to prove that he could still keep up with NBA competition, and he fully planned to take advantage of it.

Rose has turned his second chance at basketball into something nobody saw coming, as he went from struggling to find a place into the league into once again being a legitimate star. It didn’t happen from luck, or a fully healed body. Rather, he seems to have accepted that he isn’t quick enough to be the slasher he once was. Never again will he be able to simply burst past hopeless defenders for lay-ups 20 times a game. He won’t have defenses collapse on him to create for teammates the way the used to, because it only takes one man to keep up. So instead, he found different ways to score. And he found them at the 3-point line.

Rose, like the rest of the NBA, has decided that 3’s win ball games. He has begun making more 3’s than ever, and his stats have ballooned because of it. Over his career, Rose has hit 30.6% of his 3-pointers. That made him easy to guard, as you didn’t have to meet him at the perimeter to defend his jump-shot. This year, though, his percentage has skyrocketed to 47.8%. That means that instead of being dismissible from deep, now he has to be a priority. He can stretch the floor in ways he never could before. He doesn’t need to blast by his defenders the way they did, because, with them meeting him further outside, he only needs one step to get past them. Then, if they stay back to prevent his penetration, he can simply unload for 3. It adds a dimension to his offensive game that he wasn’t capable of before, and, if he can keep it up, he may find himself once again as one of the top point-guards in the game.

Nothing is a given. This may just be a long hot streak, or perhaps another knee injury will come and once again demolish everything he’s built. But maybe none of that will. Maybe this is Rose making good on the chance Minnesota has given him by fully reinventing himself as a player. Maybe he has managed to unlock a skill nobody thought he had, and can use it to bolster himself back to the top. There is always reason to doubt, but, for the first time in a long time, there is definitely reason to be optimistic.

Mahomes Can't Do Everything; The Chiefs' High Flying Offense May not be Enough to Overcome Defensive Struggles

There can be no doubt that this is the best football team Kansas City has had in years, maybe even decades. Second year back Patrick Mahomes has been the story of the NFL, as he is not only having one of the best first seasons of all time, but really one of the best in general. The Chiefs have the number one offense in the NFL, and have the firepower to maintain it for the rest of the season. There defense, however, is widely considered the worst defense in football. After a horrendous showing against the Rams on Monday Night Football, it may be time to ask the question Chiefs fans have been hoping to avoid; is the Chiefs defense bad enough to keep a historically great offense from winning in the Play-Offs.

The Chiefs have played three games against teams that were projected to compete for the Super Bowl so far this year. In all three they have been kept close by the offense, but gave up enough mistakes defensively that they only have one win in those games. it is in these three games that we see that, although the Mahomes led freight train of an offense is unbelievable, there defense may be so bad that its doesn’t matter.

The first of these games was a 42-37 away win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 2. At the time, this looked like a great win. Mahomes threw for 6 touchdowns as the Chiefs managed to hold off a tough opponent on the road. Now, though, this win seems as much a confirmation of the Chiefs’ hopelessness defensively as it was a confirmation of Mahomes’ talent. They allowed 475 total yards offensively, and allowed a team that shouldn’t have been on the same level to almost come back and steal a victory. It was a good job of them to hold on, but the cracks in the foundation definitely became apparent.

The next game was Kansas City’s first loss of the season, a 43-40 loss to the Patriots in New England. This loss was hardly a bad one. It was the first real adversity that Mahomes faced, and he responded by leading a comeback from 14 down in the second half before losing on a field goal in the final seconds. However, giving up 43 to a team is always going to make winning difficult. The Chiefs gave Belichick;s offense whatever he wanted, and because of that, they were able to march down the field multiple times in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. While nobody was blaming the Chiefs for losing in Foxborough, it still showed that there defense was going to struggle against talented teams.

Finally, there is the game in LA. On what might have been the greatest regular season game of all time, The Chiefs gave up 54 points in a 3 point loss in the Coliseum. Mahomes was great. He threw for 6 touchdowns(again!), and two of his three interceptions were on desperation throws in the last few minutes. Their defense, though, was terrible. They had penalty after penalty. They couldn’t guard any of the fast Ram’s receivers downfield. They did manage to hold Todd Gurley III without a TD for the first time in 13 games, but that and a lucky fumble recover TD are the only things they can hang their hat on. They simply could not stop the Rams, and it cost the Chiefs a game that they deserved to win. Mahomes was having one of the greatest performances of all time, and they cost him the dub. Before, it seemed as though the Chiefs could outpace their opponents most of the time, but, after last night, it seems like it doesn’t matter what they do offensively when they face talented teams. One of the greatest performances by an offense ever was not enough to overcome their defensive woes.

If they are going to win a Super Bowl, they have to learn to contain teams like this. They can’t give up 40+ points every time they play an above average offense, because it is just too much to expect Mahomes and Co. to keep up. They don’t have to be perfect, but they have to learn to get stops. They have to force the occasional turnover. The Chiefs have what it takes to win, but they need there defense to be consistent. They have shown flashes of what they can do, and even held the Bengals, a team having one of its best offensive seasons in years, to ten points. They can hold tough against these teams, and they know it. Proving it, though, is the only way we can see the Chiefs finally raise another banner.

No More Fruitless Seasons; The Orange Are Ready to Make an Impact

The last three seasons have been very touch and go for Syracuse fans. They combined solid wins with bad losses to finish on the bubble all three years. Going into Selection Sunday, nobody knew whether they had a place in March Madness or not. Although they made it to at least the second weekend in the two that they made it, missing the tournament hardly lives up to the tough standards that the Boeheim’s Orange always hold themselves to. This year, though, things are looking different. This year’s Syracuse team is loaded with talent, has a deep lineup, and is full of veteran players that are just dying to make a big run in this year’s tournament.

Admittedly, this year’s team may get off to a slow start without their star point-guard Frank Howard. Their first two wins came without too much difficulty, as they managed a double-digit win over a tough Morrehead State team and a 32 point obliteration of Eastern Washington. Still, though, with a couple tough games against UConn and Ohio State, they may struggle without Howard. They have the talent to beat them, however a loss does not necessarily mean they have any serious problems. Howard will be back in plenty of time for ACC play, though, so you can expect them to really hit their stride and compete for the top spot in league play.

One of the biggest things Syracuse has going for it is the return of its star player, Tyus Battle. After testing waters in the draft last season, he decided to return for his final year of eligibility. That means that he is going to spend this season not only working for wins, but also for a good spot in next year’s draft class. Expect him to work harder than anyone on the team to play as well as possible. He is going to do everything he can to carry this team on his shoulders, and with all of his talent, that could be bad news for the rest of the ACC.

The biggest difference between this year’s team and the last three is how much more talent they have. While the previous Orange squads have had to rely on two or three players to carry the bulk of the load, but that isn’t going to be an issue this year. While Howard and Battle are going to be able to do a lot of scoring, they Oshae Brisset, who is averaging 18.5 points through the first few games, and Paschal Chukwu to provide consistent scoring inside as well as some of the best defense in the country. Add in Marek Dolexaj and Elijah Hughes as top role players, and you have a team with as much talent as any in the country.

While they are going to miss their starting point-guard for the first month or so, and don’t even have the deepest team to start with, this team is still going to be dangerous. Once Howard comes back, they will have an incredibly dangerous team that can beat anyone on a given night. As long as they can avoid serious injuries, it won’t take a bubble-vote to get them into the tournament this season. If everything goes well, they may even be able to capture a 3-4 seed. The sky really is the limit for this team, and they might fly under the radar all the way to April basketball.

College Basketball is Back, and This Year Could Be Great

College basketball is one of the best parts of every calendar year. From November to April, I rarely go longer than a few days without watching a game, and that would be the absolute longest I would go. No, it isn’t as great as baseball, but nothing could be. However, there is no better way to spend the winter than sitting on the couch and losing my mind every time the refs decide to hand Kansas a gameIarticles on that are sure to follow, I do not like the officiating in Kansas games) or stare in disbelief at something that whatever hyper-athletic recruit Calipari managed snap does. In short, college basketball is one of the most fun sports to watch, and this year is looking like it could be one of the best

This season seems prepared to be as exciting as any that have come before it. The biggest reason, and the most overplayed at this point in the year, is Duke’s recruiting class. This team is stacked, but Duke being good hardly constitutes any excitement. It isn’t just that they are talented, but its more how they are talented. Firstly, Zion Williamson may be the best dunking 18 year old of all time. Secondly, R.J. Barret is one of the best all around freshman you could imagine. He has the ball skills of a guard with the body of a wing. He can get inside and finish through contact, or shoot over you for three. He already has a very complete offensive game, and he hasn’t even talent the court in an official game yet. Seeing what he does with the talent around him will certainly be as interesting as it is breathtaking.

Secondly, there are two cinderella stories from last season’s tournament who are poised to be better this year. Loyola-Chicago managed to retain the majority of it’s players, so it should be able to repeat as a dominant force in the Missouri Valley that wins a couple games come March. The really exciting team, though, is the Nevada Wolfpack. By managing to bring back both of the Martin twins, they look like they might be a top ten team in the whole country. They probably won’t have a lot of tough games between now and March, but it should still be fun watching them ground their competition to a pulp up until that point.

While there are a lot of interesting recruits left, the last one I want to talk about is the 7 foot 2 center who can shoot. Whether or not Oregon’s freshman Bol Bol will actually pan out as the prospect some think he will remains to be seen, but no matter what, watching him play will be fun. If he really does have control over his jump shot, he might be one of the most dangerous scorers of all time. It should be a given that he can score inside, so it should be cool to watch a seven foot monster dominate either way, but if he can stretch the floor as well, that would be something else entirely. I am already this guy’s biggest fan, and I really hope he ends up being as awesome as people say..

There are a lot of reasons this will be a great year, but these were my favorite. College basketball is a great sport, so it’s always exciting when it starts. Who knows if any of this will actually pan out, and there will certainly be new, more interesting storylines as the season progresses, but I am more excited for the beginning of this year than I can remember being for any prior seasons. It’s shaping up to be great, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

How Much More Can We Expect From The Lakers?

Nobody thought the 2018-2019 Lakers were a good enough team to take a championship back to Los Angeles. They were, however, expected to be a top three team in the West could maybe make it all the way to the conference finals before jumping in front of the freight train that is the Golden State Warriors. With the addition of Lebron, as well as a few solid role players, they seemed poised to make last years team look like a joke. After a rough start to the season, though, these goals may seem like far more than they can chew, as they are currently residing in twelfth place in their conference, meaning they have to pass four teams just to make the 8th seed in the playoffs. There’ve only been 10 games so far this season, but are we sure that this isn’t more than just a slow start?

Almost every year, LeBron’s teams get off to a slow start, especially when he’s on a new team. Both the Heat and the Cavaliers got off to bad starts when he joined and rejoined them respectively. Both years, though, he still managed to lead them into The Finals. This year, however, feels different. LeBron isn’t young anymore, and these Lakers have nowhere near the supporting classes he had in Miami or Cleveland. There are no super starts to pick up the slack when he isn’t at his best, and his best isn’t enough to carry teams on his back anymore. James’ 2017-2018 season was perhaps the most strenuous of all time, as he had to lead the league in minutes and play at his best every single night to make the Cavs as successful as they were. Although he is one of the greatest althea’s of all time, it would take something magical for him, or anyone, to be able to pull a season like that off again.

The biggest problem for LA is not that LeBron is getting older, but more that he has almost no help. The team has talent, but none of it really seems to meld. They have two pass-first point guards who don’t really play defense and have no jump shot in Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rando. Their starting center Javale McGee has far surpassed expectations, but he is the only solid big on the team, and he is one of the only players the Lakers have who can play defense. It feels like coach Luke Walton just does not have many lineups that fit together, and almost every lineup he has without James is going to struggle.

The Leker’s biggest problem is definitely their defense. While LeBron, McGee, and newcomer Lance Stephenson are all fairly talented on that end of the floor, the rest of the roster is almost a blackhole every time they try to defend. Two of the players that are supposed to lead the team, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, are human turnstiles. I already mentioned that Ball and Rando struggle regularly to stay in front of people. The Lakers may need some new personal if they want to resolve this issue, because there are just too many players who aren’t able to keep up. It is becoming a serious problem, and if we don’t see improvement, it may jeopardize them even making the playoffs while effectively ruining their chances at competing for the Western Conference Championship.

It’s far from time to throw in the towel. Walton is a smart coach, and there is plenty of talent on the roster to see better results. However there are clear cracks in the foundation that need to be fixed. They really need to fix defense, as well as have someone step up to reduce the pressure that LeBron faces on a nightly basis. The season is young, and there is still plenty of time to right the ship, but these still are problems that need to be resolved sooner than later if this team plans to meet its lofty expectations.

Has the Window Closed for a Milwaukee World Series?

The Milwaukee Brewers were arguably the best team in the National League this season. Their bullpen could easily have been the best in baseball, and they were carried down the stretch by the probably MVP winner Christian Yelich. Their lineup had few holes in it, and they were solid defensively as well. The only real problem that they ever encountered was their starting pitching, and that didn’t really show up when they can get four solid innings out of their ‘pen on a nightly basis. After winning the play-in game against Chicago, they finished first in the central, dominated the Rockies in the divisional round, and narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a tight seven game series. For most teams, that would be a successful season that left hopes for better ones in the future. For the Brewers, though, this may be their last chance for a long time to compete at this high a level.

The first red flag for the Brewer’s future hopes is their lack of starting pitching. While it didn’t show up a lot this season, it really was a problem for them. In fact, their inability to get a starter through any significant number of innings was probably what cost them the NLCS against the Dodgers. While their problem is easily identified, fixing it is going to be very difficult this off-season. There is not a strong class of free agent pitchers this winter, and they have few prospects who are going to be able to make any kind of a difference anytime soon. Their only hope would be to acquire a solid starter via the trademarked, but they may not have a deep enough team to be able to make that happen. it seems like this is a problem that could persist for years to come.

Another reason that the door may be closing in Milwaukee is how many of their contributors may not be able to repeat. The surging offense of Jesus Aguilar seems unlikely to happen again, as he came out of nowhere and slowed down in the second half as pitchers learned how to get him out. Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun are both getting up there in years, and may not have a lot of time left to play at their 2018 levels. While Yelich is young enough that he should still be a very solid player for a long time, the odds of him repeating his magical 2018 campaign seem rather low. They simply lack the sustainability to make me believe that they’ll be able to reach the level they played at this season offensively again.

Their future’s biggest problem, though, is how much they are built through their bullpen. While having a dominant bullpen almost always results in October baseball, it also has as many risks as rewards. Bullpen pitchers almost always have steep and sudden declines, and they can happen at anytime. Teams that build through their bullpens are typically very good for at least a year or two, but they also tend to implode once their bullpen stops being elite. The 2014 and 2015 Royals dominated baseball when they had the tandem of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and Greg Holland. However, almost all at once, that bullpen fell apart, and they haven’t reached the play-offs since capturing their 2015 championship. Unfortunately, that seems like a route the Brewers may end up taking as well. They relied very heavily on their bullpen this year, and if it takes even a slight step back, it could prove very costly for The Crew.

Nothing is a given. The Brewers may prove me wrong and string off a half decade of domination with these pieces. If their offense stays intact and they can improve their pitching staff, they may actually do just that. However, the way it is right now, it seems much more likely that they look back at 2018 as the one year that they really had a chance. Consistently winning is difficult, and too many teams that were built like MIlwuakee’s have fallen fast. It doesn’t seem too unlikely that the Brewers will follow suit.

It's Giannis' World and We're Just Living In It

There is no question that Giannis Antetokounmpo is geared up to have his best year yet. He is coming off of a breakthrough season in which he really established himself as an all-star player. What is more impressive, though, is how mismanaged the team around him was. Their in-game decision making was so bad that their coach, Jason Kidd, was fired halfway through the season despite the team being in a decent position to make the play-offs. Their interim wasn’t much better, but now, with an experienced coach like Mike Budenholzer, the Bucks, and specifically Giannis, are ready to explode.

Giannis has the pieces around him to be great. He has Eric Bledsoe to take away some of the playmaking weight off of his shoulders, and plenty of pieces like Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, and Brook Lopez for him to pass to. They are just good enough that he won’t have to do all of the work, but also just bad enough that he will get to have the ball as much as he wants. Especially without a lot of really good passers to facilitate the offense, the offense is basically going to begin and end with Giannis. He has the skills to score inside at will, as well as the passing ability to dish it out to his teammates after the defense collapses on him. The Bucks are completely his team, and he has the skillset to make them compete for a top spot in the East.

Another big thing to go Giannis’ way is that he is going to have a defensive system that properly utilizes his abilities on defense. He can legitimately guard all five positions, and Budenholzer has a back for turning his wings into huge contributors on that end of the court. With a coach that builds around players with his skillset, it could be a huge year for him. Although it is hard to imagine him improving as a defender after nearly winning Defensive Player of the Year last season, we might actually see it. The sky is the limit for “The Greek Freak”, and don’t be surprised if he finishes with the Defensive POY that he nearly won last year.

Because he has a coach that is going to utilize him better on both ends of the floor, seeing Giannis walk away with his first MVP award should surprise no one. He has improved so much every year without proper coaching that its actually scary to think about what he’ll do with a coach noted for developing players. This season may actually go beyond an MVP, though. This may be the season that he goes from “future superstar” to “future Hall of Famer”. He might have more talent than any player since Lebron, and the seems like the year we see him fully evolve into a truly great player. That is a lot to live up to, but there can be no question that he has what it takes to make these immense expectations into a reality.

The Team Nobody is Talking About; Why the Pacers Can Compete in the East

For whatever reason, this is a team that nobody has talked about going into the 2017-2018 season. After stealing the fifth seed in the East last year, they came about as close as possible to beating a team that would eventually make the Finals. They had plenty of young talent, and they only improved with this off-season. Despite the lack of attention, I think that this is a team with realistic odds at claiming the Eastern crown.

This is a team that was full of young talent last season. It’s best player, Victor Oladipo, broke out in a big way by setting career marks in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals. He even led the league in takeaways, as he became one of the most solid perimeter defenders in the league. If he can improve even further, he could go from all-star to super-star in a flash. Plus improvement from their bigs, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, along with continued sharpshooting from point-guard Darren Collison, they might have one of the best inside-outside offenses in the league. They might have the firepower this year to keep up with any team on any given night if they can put all of that talent together.

On top of their young core, they also made a couple moves that could really help their chances. Their biggest lose this off-season was Lance Stephenson. Although he was a talented two-way player, they more than made up for it with the acquisition of Tyreke Evans. He is a talented guard who can both create for himself and for others, and he could really bolster their offense. On top of that, they added more sharpshooting to their backcourt by drafting UCLA’s star Aaron Holiday. He has the potential to put up huge scoring numbers if given the chance, and, if. he can make himself into a half-decent defender, can even become a terrific player in this league. While some teams may have fallen into complacency after a surprisingly good year like the Pacer’s had, they reloaded themselves instead.

It wouldn’t be impossible for this team to backslide. Young teams are always a threat to falter, especially after they weren't supposed to be that good in the first place. Nothing is going to be given to Indianapolis, and they are going to have to work for any repeated success. The pieces are their for a deep run, though, so don’t be surprised to see them last two or three rounds come play-off time.

MVP Prediction; Which NBA Player is Taking Home the Hardware

With the NBA season rapidly approaching, everyone is making their picks for what is going to happen. However, with the Warrior’s chances at winning so high, there is not a lot to predict with who is going to win the championship. There is, however, one thing that could go any number of ways. This season, there are plenty of number of candidates who could wind up taking home the MVP trophy, and going into the new year, it is hard to decide which of them actually has the best chance.

Lebron James:

It makes sense to start this conversation with the player who has more MVP’s than any other active player. With the move to the West, he is going to get more attention than any other player in the NBA. If he plays well, which he will, the added headlines could definitely help his case. If the Lakers disappoint, though, his chances would be slim to none. Plus he carried a team to the Finals last year completely by himself and still didn’t win his fifth. It seems like the voters may be done with Lebron, so his odds aren’t as high as they probably should be.

Kevin Durant/Steph Curry:

These two are grouped together because their odds, and their problems, are all basically the same. Even though these are two of the best players in the league, and of all time, they still probably will not win another. Both put up big numbers on their own teams, which is why they collectively have three, but with each taking up so much time with the ball, it seems unlikely that they’ll manage to win another. It isn’t impossible, especially if one gets hurt, but they certainly aren’t at the top of the list right now.

James Harden:

Last year’s winner has as good a chance of any at making it a repeat. His scoring will only go up after Houston lost some of their key contributors, and he is at an age where he may still be able to improve his game. If he can put up similar scoring numbers with improved defensive and passing, he could definitely win another.

Russel Westbrook:

This is another player who might deserve it without winning it. Two years ago, when he was busy becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to finish a season averaging a triple-double, he got tons of attention en route to winning an MVP. Last year he did the exact same thing, minus the MVP. Averaging big numbers is all he can offer, as he has yet to lead a team to any real success on his own, so it seems unlikely that a third season of triple-double numbers would be enough. He’s on the list, but barely.

Kawhi Leonard:

Like Lebron, he is going to get a lot of headlines in his new city. If he leads Toronto to top one-spot in the East with big numbers, he could easily be the one who goes home with the trophy. He has the talent to do it, but who knows if he can stay focused enough to put it all together for a full season like he did a few years ago. If he can, though, don’t be surprised if he finishes with his first MVP.

Giannis Antetokounmpo:

The Greek Freak broke out in a big way last year. He put up monster numbers all year on a team that was mismanaged and not especially talented outside of him. Still, he carried them to the play-offs and put himself in the MVP race in the process. If he can improve yet again, especially wit a better team and better coach around him, it would not be at all surprising to see him take his first MVP.

Anthony Davis:

Anthony Davis is an absolute monster. There really isn’t another way to describe it. Nobody can play as well inside on either side of the court as he can. Add in a jump shot and you have yourself a franchise player. He is the most versatile big in the league, and he has more than enough talent to bring New Orleans an MVP.

The Rest:

While those are the biggest names, there are plenty of others with decent chances as well. If Klay Thompson gets super aggressive, he could put up the scoring numbers to get it, although it would probably take multiple injuries on the Warriors for that to happen. If Damian Lillard has a career year, his scoring output could easily land him atop the list. Chris Paul might be able to do what Harden did last year to win the trophy. Nikola Jokic has a very, very, very outside chance of putting up the triple-double stats Westbrook did a few years ago. Kyrie or Gordon Hayward might dominate the East enough to win. There are still more, but these pretty much fill out the short-list for pre-season predictions.

Please No Repeats; Keep LA and Houston Away From the Series

Change is a good thing. This phrase isn’t always true, but it definitely is in the case of the World Series. Yes, baseball is baseball, so no matter what happens, I will watch it. However, watching the same teams play over and over Is nowhere near as entertaining as original teams. Watching the Warriors play the Cavaliers play in the NBA Finals for four straight years made the NBA almost unwatchable. Having the Patriots dominate the AFC made the Super Bowl much less fun to watch. Teams have been making Championships multiple years in a row has been occurring far too frequently lately, and it would be disappointing to see it spread to baseball as well.

So far this post-season, a Dodger-Astro rematch seems very possible. Both have made it to their respective LCS’s, and both ended their seasons on substantial hot streaks. They both have more than enough fire power to win another four games. That would be very disappointing in my opinion. With so many different story lines that could have come from all of the talented teams this year, it boiling down to the same series as 2017 would be kind of a letdown. Watching the “Baby Braves” take home a title after losing a hundred games would have been a great story. Having the Rockies or Brewers win their first World Series ever wasn’t something people were thinking about early, but going into the play-offs it seemed like a real possibility for either one. Even though it would be interesting to see a real rivalry form between the two teams would be pretty cool, especially since they used to be in the same division. However, seeing new blood is always a good thing, so it would be very disappointing to see that not happen.

Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst thing from a pure baseball point of view. My biggest problem isn’t from a dislike of repeats in general, but rather the result of watching it happen so many other sports. Watching Tom Brady cheat(yep, I went there) his way to three Super Bowl appearances has been painful. Alabama has like a 99% of winning the Championship going into every year. The Warriors may have put together the most unbeatable team in NBA history. Seeing all of these teams succeed at once has gotten boring. Seeing it spread to baseball would be an overall negative for the sports world.

Repeats aren’t always bad. Watching the Warriors was fun at the beginning,but it grew old rather quickly. Tom Brady is probably the least fun to watch player in all of the sports world. Watching the same teams win over and over is not fun. Hopefully, with Lebron joining the West and Brady getting old will hopefully balance things for a while. Still, it would help if baseball saw some new faces at the finish line. No, it would not be the worst thing to have ever happened, but I still think that it would be better for everyone involved if the World Series got some new teams.

The Cleveland Indians Should Have Done Better

The Cleveland Indians were the most disappointing team in baseball this season. I know that is a weird thing to say about a team that won 91 games and its division. However, a team that could have won the World Series got booted in three games in the ALDS. Yes, they lost to a supremely talented Astros team, but still, the Tribe will undoubtedly look back on 2018 as a team that could have done so much more.

This team’s offense is very talented. They had two players who are going to finish in the top 5 in the MVP race in Jose Ramirez and Fransisco Lindor, followed by a deep lineup that features six OTHER players who have made at least on all-star team. Michael Brantley was one of the most consistentt hitters in baseball. Yan Gomes was one of the best hitting American League fathers this season. They had four players steal at least 20 bases, as well as four who hit 30 plus home runs. They did not have many week spots, and they were a threat to put up ten runs on any given night.

Their starting rotation might have been better than their offense. Of the six pitchers with more than ten starts, four finished with 200 strikeouts and ERA’s below 3.50. Those four, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger, rounded out one of the most successful rotation in the history of the league. No rotation has ever had four reach the 200 K mark, The highest ERA in the group was 3.38, and you could rely on any one of them to give quality innings every time they took the mound. A rotation like this, along with that lineup, should have been pushing 100 wins. In fact, their Pythagorean W-L had them at 98 wins, which is significantly more than their 91.

Even though the fact that their bullpen was the problem was obvious, it did not make sense either. Cody Allen’s struggles came out of nowhere, and Andrew Miller just couldn’t stay healthy enough to get consistent. Still, them at half strength could have usually been enough when the rest of the team is as good as it is. However, Allen couldn’t even get to half strength, and he finished with a 4.70 ERA. Still, a midseason trade for the best reliever in baseball, Brad Hand, couldn’t save them. Although they improved, they still were not playing like the team they should have been.

The most problematic things that happen with seasons like the Tribe had in 2018 is that it is very difficult to know what to do in the offseason. They need to fix their ‘pen, but how do they know who to get rid of. Can you really part ways with a player who did as much as Cody Allen did? is it worth flipping Miller for a few pieces with the idea that a couple consistent arms are better than one great one? Do they ship some of the excess talent that they have elsewhere, and, if so, who? These are the questions that Cleveland will need to think about, because they cannot afford to have another year like 2018.

Why Team's Should Use an "Opener" in This Season's Post-Season

Ok, so full disclosure, this article was inspired by an article on ESPN which I do not remember the exact title of or who wrote it, and could not find it when I looked and therefore can not properly give credit. However, in the interest of maintaining the high journalistic standard that I, random blogger Daniel Knickmeyer, hold myself to, I will still say that there is an article on ESPN that talks about an idea similar to this.

Now that that is over, this article is one that I am very excited to write. In mid-summer, the Tampa Bay Rays changed baseball, maybe forever, by starting a bullpen pitcher to pitch the first few batters, then bringing in a starter to pitch the next four or five, then going back to the bullpen. When they did this, I immediately thought about how awesome this concept would be in October. This concept seems almost made for post-season ball, and I really hope that a team is brave enough to actually go for it.

While the whole”opener” concept is not unanimously loved within the world of baseball, I think that it would be awesome to see during this year’s playoffs. The main reason that I love it is because of how much more exciting pitching duels are once post-season begins. Every out feels like its worth five times what it is during the regular season, and watching two teams battle it out to scrape a few runs is my favorite thing in the world(I don’t have a life). This strategy only adds to that, as it will make it even harder to get those few runs teams fight so hard to get. Plus, this will keep the games close, which will benefit everyone involved, save for the losing teams fans.

While that reason is the most obvious, there is one more specific one that is more of a personal one; I love bullpen strategy. Trying to get inside the head of managers and think about their moves, as well as what I’d have done differently, is one of the reasons that baseball is my favorite sport. When Terry Francona used Andrew Miller in ways nobody had ever used their best pitcher before in their 2016 run, he immediately became my favorite manager. Watching Bruce Bochy use Madison Bumgarner for two starts and, and then again to watch him get crucial innings in game seven out of the bullpen, was easily my favorite part of that whole season. Watching managers get creative with their bullpen is one of the very best joys in sports, and the “opener” idea just adds a whole new level for how they can do that.

Yes, the “opener” argument makes me look like a complete baseball nerd. However, that does not make it less valid. Baseball is a perfect game, but adding this layer adds a whole new level of excitement. I understand that people think this idea disrupts the game, but when they see the 2-1 nail biters that will surely result, I believe everyone will agree that it will make post-season baseball even more thrilling, if that’s even possible. Did I mention I love baseball.

Are the Bengals Finally Legit?

I’m just gonna start out by saying that I understand that their two wins over the Colts and Ravens are not exactly the quality wins that usually inspire these types of articles, especially when they are followed by a tough loss to a Carolina team with plenty of holes in its lineup. However, while they are not perfect by any means, the improvement is pretty remarkable. So remarkable, in fact, that they may do something that they haven’t done since 1991; win a playoff game.

I know that this seems very premature. A couple of stupid mistakes cost them their last game against Carolina, and A.J. Green had to leave with a groin injury. But still, they look like a serious threat to win their division with the Steelers struggling, their early win over the Ravens, and the Browns being the Browns. Once that happens, anything is possible. Plus, since Green’s injury isn’t severe and they are playing some inexperienced players, they may only get better. As long as they don’t see any major injuries, this may finally be the year they see the second round.

Basically, the Bengal’s success can be boiled down to three things; Andy Dalton playing as well as he ever has, finally having an established run game, and a defense that for once ins’t the football equivalent of Swiss cheese. Dalton and their running back’s solid performance seem very sustainable. Dalton has plenty of weapons around him, headlined by one of the best receivers of all time, while their Mixon-Bernard 1-2 punch will keep defenses guessing for the rest of the year. Its the defense that is going to have to prove itself. It’s forced five turnovers in its first three games, and its pass rush has been very solid as it has recorded 7 sacks already. It still has a lot to prove, though. It has yet to hold an opponent to under 20 points, and still has games against the Falcons, Chiefs, and Chargers, as well as two against division rival Steelers. All of those are capable of going for 40+ points on a given night, so the Bengals will really have to play their best. If they really are good enough to make it through that gauntlet, though, winning a playoff game doesn’t just seem possible, but even likely.

It isn’t going to be easy. Their defense is finally good enough to keep them in games, but they still are going to have to lean heavily on their offense. A bad injury to any of their key receivers or Dalton could easily derail them out of a 17th game, but if that doesn’t happen, this may finally be the year that Cincinnati can say they won a playoff game. And it would only have taken them 27 years too…

About Time; Notre Dame Finally Shows They Can Play Offense

Notre Dame came into the season as a top 15 team with hopes of rising all the way to the play-offs. After a close win against Michigan, it looked like they had a very real shot at making those dreams a reality. The next two games, though, diminished them somewhat, as offensive troubles made games that should have been blow-outs into close games. Finally, in week 4, they finally showed that they can play well as their offense put up numbers you expect of a top ten team.

Week 1 was a huge game for Notre Dame fans. They put up a bunch of points early against a tough Michigan defense, then managed to survive a late push by the Wolverines to earn a win that propelled them into the top ten. Although they did not have great overall numbers, especially in the second half, the Irish still had 33 points against a team that was supposed to be one of the very best defenses in the nation. While it was not as clean as it could have been, nobody would have suspected that they would have many problems going forward.

After that solid win, Notre Dame must have felt a huge amount of confidence going into their week 2 home game against Ball State. The Irish were a huge favorite, and no one had it on their radar. In the end, though, they won only by one score in a 24-16 game that left fans a little shocked. Then they were just as bad the next week, winning 22-17 over a not especially talented Vanderbilt team. Their returning QB, Brandon Wimbush managed just to complete just 55.3 percent of his passes with 4 picks and only one touchdown through the air. As explosive as he was as a runner, people began to seriously doubt whether it made up for his clear lack of ability as a passer.

Apparently coach Brian Kelly doubted as well, and in week 4 he decided to start his talented backup Ian Brook in hope that he would give the offense a much needed boost. Brook did that and more, as he managed to go 25-34 for 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns passing. What was more impressive is that he rushed for 43 yards on ten attempts, and found the end zone another 3 times on the ground. All this lead to a 56-27 route of the Demon Deacons. If his passing wasn’t enough to put him over the top, then the fact that his rushing performance was so solid almost certainly did. He gave Notre Dame the punch it needed, and may have saved their season in the process.

If Notre Dame can maintain the offense that they showed today, they really may be able to run the table and be the first non-power five team to reach the College Football Play-Off. They still have plenty of tough games left on their schedule, though. Stanford is coming to Southbend next week, and after that is a road trip to Virginia Tech. If they win those two, though, they will almost certainly secure a spot. A nice blow-out win is exactly the kind of confidence builder they needed to prove they can go and beat those teams, and today may have finally proved that they actually have what it takes to go the distance. While only time will tell, Notre Dame must be feeling pretty good after today.

Is David Price back?

After a 2015 season in which Price was a key piece on a team that missed the World Series by about as much as bullets missed Neyo(for the record, I was not alive when The Matrix came out). After that dominant season, one of the largest bidding wars in recent history took place as half the league wanted to take their shot at the former Cy Young winner. It ended with one of the largest contracts in history, netting Price $217 million over seven years with the Boston Red Sox. Since then, though, David Price has fallen completely off the map. Now all of the sudden, it seems like he may finally have come all the way back.

Price’s first few seasons in Boston definitely did not go as planned, In his first year, he posted his highest ERA since his first full season in the Bigs way back in 2009. His Hr/9 jumped to nearly twice as much, and opponents hit .254 against him, nearly thirty points up from his 2015 campaign. The next year went bad for a different reason. All of his stats improved except his walk-rate, which had actually been solid the year before, but a myriad of nagging injuries kept him from really gaining any consistency, and in the end he managed only 74 mediocre innings. Going in to 2018, it seemed like the BoSox had made a huge mistake, paying for an ace but getting a third starter.

The way 2018 started, it seemed like it would be more of the same. While missing some time with an injury, Price’s first half was not what he had hoped for, posting a 4.42 ERA with hitters managing a .756 OPS against him. Then, out of nowhere, he started pitching better. It started with stringing a few good starts together, and then turned into a serious run that has resulted in a 1.56 ERA and a .494 OPS against during the second half(as of September 18). These improvements have turned what looked like a lost seasonn into a legitimately good year, and Boston may finally have the ace that it hoped for.

It is way too early to say for certain that Price is all the way back. He could easily lose his mechanics again or have another nagging injury that limits his ability. However health has definitely played a huge role in his recent struggles. While there’s never a guarantee that he’s back, it doesn’t seem to unlikely that he is finally back to 100%. He could easily be the pitcher that the Sox needed, though, and nobody would be shocked if he winds up winning his first ring. If that happens, then he really may wind up being worth the monster contract, and he, and the city of Boston, may finally feel at peace with it.

Meet Patrick Mahomes, the NFL's Newest Star

There was perhaps more pressure on the Chief’s new quarterback Patrick Mahomes than on any other player at the beginning of 2018. First, the Chiefs used their top-ten pick on the young Texas Tech star. This alone would have brought a ton of pressure, as few expected that Kansas City would take him when they already had a stable signal-caller in Alex Smith. On top of that, however, the Chiefs decided that after a year on the bench, it was time to throw Mahomes into the fray by trading Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. That meant that Mahomes had to spend all offseason hearing about what a great coach Andy Reid is and how much was expected of him in his first year as a starter. All of this put together would probably scare ordinary people to the point of complete paralysis. Patrick Mahomes is not an ordinary person though.

First, Mahomes played very well during the preseason. He completed 76% of his passes while throwing for 367 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns with only one pick. He seemed very poised the whole time, and never really gave the impression that he wasn’t comfortable. This was just preseason, though, so its hard to say for sure that anything was trustworthy. It was a good start, but nobody could have known whether or not he would carry it into the regular season.

In week 1, Mahomes quieted any doubters. He threw for 256 yards, four touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in the win versus the Chargers. He was very effective at taking what the defense was giving him, as he completed 56% of his passes(admittedly not spectacular) and never tried to do too much, as many first year QB’s tend to do.

Week 2 is when he really let loose, though. In a 42-37 shootout win against the Steelers, Mahomes went 23-28 for 326 yards and six touchdowns. Yes, six. In his third career start, Mahomes came just score away from the single season record. After this hot start, Mahomes has beaten the record for TD’s in a player’s first three starts ever by a QB. The craziest part, though, is that he didn’t even throw one in his first start last year against the stout Denver defense. He only needed two starts to do better than anyone ever had in three. To call that insane would actually be an understatement.

Mahomes has gotten off to about as good a start as anyone could ever have hoped. While plenty of players in every sport have been great in their first few games and then never been heard from again(basically every young player to make the cover of Madden), Mahomes seems less likely to slow down. He really does have one of the best coaches possible for his situation in Reid, plus maybe the best slew of weapons around him with Kareem Hunt, Tyreke “what Usain Bolt would be like as a football player” Hill, and Travis Kelce, maybe the best TE in the NFL not named Gronkowski. While he probably won’t continue averaging 5 touchdowns a game, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say he could well be a superstar in the making.

David Wright is Back, But Is It a Good Idea?

The Mets recently announced that they are going to activate longtime third-basemen David Wright from the 60 day DL. This is going to be a big moment for him, since he hasn’t played since way back in 2016. After too many injuries to count, he finally has made it all the way back to a Major League diamond. It’s been a long road, and his determination is something that deserves to be admired by everyone, both fans and otherwise. Its this incredible determination that makes this question so painful…should he? There are really only two outcomes of this, and one of them is really, really sad. David Wright was one of my favorite players growing up, and as happy as I am to see him back again, its also scary that it will end up being incredibly disappointing. I don’t want to come off as a total “glass half-empty” person, I am going to go ahead and list the good, as well as the bad, and ugly of what is going to happen.

The Good:

This is definitely what I am hoping for. Seeing a man like Wright play through so much in his career is truly inspiring, and I want to see him coming out a winner in all of that. While I don’t think it is very likely that he will come all the way back to his all-star self, he may be able to be a contributor to his team again. I know it sounds sad that this is the best case scenario for him, but it isn’t actually bad at all. Lets say he puts together a few more good seasons with the Mets. He adds a few more wins to his career WAR, which is already very high. Mix that and the very low standard that the Hall of Fame has for third basemen, along with the devotion he showed by staying with the Mets as long as he did(something voters love), he might have a real shot at making it into the Hall. It could be a truly happy ending to a man who has fought enough that he truly deserves it.

The Bad:

This one isn’t the worst, but it may be the most likely. If David Wright can’t be an affective player, he may have to retire sometime in the very near future. It could make voters a little anxious putting him in, since he doesn’t quite have the credentials yet, although he is close. Him falling short of the Hall of Fame would be a disappointment, but right now his odds seem like a little bit of a long shot as of right now.

The Ugly:

What is the worst thing that could happen to someone who had to come back from all of those serious injuries in a row? More injuries, of course. If Wright comes back only to have another huge setback, he may never be able to climb all the way back up. It would be a bitter disappointment to come all the way back when nobody thought that you could, to finally be at a healthy enough state to play the game you love, only to have to be put on the shelf again, maybe forever. While this spirit-crushing even will hopefully never happen, can you really discount it considering his age and injury history? It’s something that you never want to see happen, but it is still a definite possibility.

Joe Sewell, the Best There Ever Was...at This Very Specific Thing

Joe Sewell is a legend. He played baseball in a way nobody else ever could have, and is without a doubt the greatest ballplayer who ever lived…at this. Sewell never struck out. Ever. He was literally the best at not striking out of all time. In fact, its not close. In a game that has swing and misses going up on the daily, I think it is important to look at the one man was able make more contact than anyone else by a margin larger than the Grand Canyon.

First of all, Joe Sewell really was a fantastic player. He had a career lifetime average of .312, and a .391 OBP. In his prime, he was the best fielding shortstop in the league, and his career bWAR was 53.7, and he was rightfully elected into the Hall of Fame in 1977. However, his main skill is undoubtedly his ability to put the ball in play. in his 14 years in the Bigs, he struck out 114 times. Put together with his 7,132 AB, you find he struck out once every 62.5 times He only hit double digits in four of those years, with his career high being 20 in 1922. He had five seasons in which he played over 100 games and still struck out 4 times or fewer. As good as he was as a regular player, his contact skills are his defining attribute, and he truly is the best of all time in that aspect.

Lets put this into some perspective. Firstly, there are 60 players in the Majors who have 114 or more K’s this season. We aren’t even all the way done, and still there are that many who whiffed more times than a man did in his whole 14 years. Need more proof. The league leader in K% this year is Andrelton Simmons with a 6.2% mark. That is still over four times Sewell’s career K%, which ended at 1.4. Seriously. The man was simply impossible to strike out. It’s a skill that doesn’t exist today, and it’s worth remembering that a man like this exists; a man with a skill that is so ridiculously above everyone else’s that it deserves to be remembered by anyone who truly enjoys the game of baseball.