Sunday Night Heat is a collection of my honest opinions.
I do not like advanced statistics because I do not understand them. I prefer a method known as “the eye-test” which means I trust my own expertise over science.
The Minnesota Twins are back in action, and through the first couple weeks of the season have shown promise. There is talent. There is hope. I am intrigued.
Who do my eyes tell me are the two best players on the team through the first 12 games? Pitcher Jose Berrios and shortstop Jorge Polanco. The two best players on the team according to WAR (the greatest single advanced statistic in sports)? Pitcher Jose Berrios (1.0) and Jorge Polanco (0.9). Maybe there’s a universe where the old methods and new can coexist.
There’s tons of potential in this Twins lineup. The offense looks good. It comes from all over the place. Plenty of versatility. Just wait til the weather gets better, too. Oh, and Byron Buxton? He’s figuring it out before my very eyes. All-Star this year, just you watch. Or if you don’t watch, then check the stats. Either way.
But outside of Berrios? Pitching is rail-thin. Michael Pineda has looked good in his limited work so far–he’s coming off a season long injury and is being worked back in slowly. Jake Odorizzi has been hit or miss. And the bullpen…yikes, what a dumpster fire.
Kings Fire Dave Joerger, Hire Luke Walton
Speaking of dumpster fire…
Dave Joerger deserves a ton of credit for taking over a Sacramento Kings team with a laundry list of character and basketball issues and helping steer the franchise in the right direction. But if you followed the team this season, a few things became clear:
- The young Kings had accelerated their timeline
- Dave Joerger was not the right fit to coach the team
The first point is optimistic, so I’ll address it in a moment. I’ll start with point two:
I’ve been a fan of Dave Joerger’s since Memphis, so don’t take this as a hit piece. But his rotations and time (mis)management played a massive part in the Kings missing the postseason. First of all, Marvin Bagley should’ve been starting. He needed to be let off the leash.
Secondly…this is terrible and inexcusable.
Down a bucket with two seconds left, the Kings are set up for an in-bounds play. This should be a great advantage for the Kings because 1) they have home court advantage, 2) they have Buddy Hield, one of the best shooters in the league, and 3) they have Dave Joerger, who has a reputation as one of the best After Timeout coaches in the game. Oh, and they also have a spare timeout.
What happens? They panic and run a jangled play for Harrison Barnes to barf up a deep three rather than call timeout. Cost the Kings the game. Inexcusable.
Talk radio and the internet are chastising the Kings as being up to their old tricks: any step forward is immediately negated by a giant leap backwards.
But here’s where the Kings should be getting credit. They aren’t resting on their laurels (a sub .500 record, mind you) and realize their potential hasn’t been actualized. Rather than remaining complacent and waiting another year for the inevitable, they did what they needed to do immediately.
Is Luke Walton the answer? Not sure. But the roster and the roster structure have fans salivating. If the Kings aren’t one of the final eight teams in the playoffs next year (re: second round team) then it’ll be a failure of a season.
Return of Tiger
I’m not much of a golf fan and I didn’t watch the Masters religiously, but I did witness the Tiger effect. My Sunday morning pickup run ran simultaneous to Tiger’s ascension, and the group of guys I play with couldn’t keep their eyes off the TV. In between dead balls they’d peek their heads out into the main concourse and check to see if Tiger had made his move.
Lost in the shuffle of all the Tiger-redemption stories is the fact that this was Tiger’s first big tournament win in the Twitter age. And social media was on fire Sunday from Tiger’s win. Golf is normally considered a boring spectator sport, but following via Twitter made me a believer that golf is very much alive and could be popular among the younger generation. Twitter and golf–two very different and conflicting ideas–could be a match made in heaven.
I made the America’s Test Kitchen “Indian-style curry with potatoes, cauliflower, peas, and chickpeas” with some white rice and Trader Joe’s naan. Honestly, it was pretty decent and easy to make. And the cool thing about making a curry is it’s essentially the same thing as some white trash stew, except it’s kind of boujee because it’s foreign. Would recommend!