Each week, I am going to look at three or four pro sports topics. Here is the first post of the Lee Hale Comedy Sports Review, February 13th edition.
This will be a topic I will probably beat to death over the next few months. Russell Westbrook is the NBA MVP at this point. The all-star game voting was downright shameful. The fan vote needs to either be eliminated, or you need to pass a test to prove you aren’t too stupid to choose all stars. I would propose a similar test for voting in actual government elections, but that’s another post for another group of people.
Back in 2012, I argued that Mike Trout should have been MLB MVP over Miguel Cabrera, but Miggy won the triple crown. You can’t give a player the MVP over a triple crown winner, no matter what he does, in spite of Trout being comparable at the plate and was way better in the field and circling the bases. This argument is essentially the same. You can’t give the MVP to anybody else if a player is currently averaging a triple-double. I’m aware his efficiency is lower than you’d like, and he does turn the ball over a lot, but willing a team to the playoffs like he currently is the definition of value.
Let’s put some perspective on it. LeBron James is the best player in the world. He’s given that value, in spite of not having the explosiveness he used to, largely because he has the ability to score, rebound, and pass the ball. This has made his one of the greatest ever. And in his career, he has 47 triple-doubles. Westbrook has 26 this year. That is absurd, and there’s no argument that anybody else should be the MVP.
Until he drops below having a triple-double, there’s not an argument that can convince me that he shouldn’t be. If he does drop below that mark, then I will start considering somebody like Kawhi Leonard, who is only 1.24 behind in ESPN’s Hollinger stats in PER, but has a usage rate of 29.3 compared to Westbrook’s 42.5. Although, having a usage rate of 42.5 is astounding by itself. There should be an Ironman Award for that himself.
The NFL Draft season is starting. Let’s be honest, here’s your chance to keep football going when they aren’t playing on Sundays. College fans love it because they get to see all kinds of news about their favorite players, and pro fans love it because it gives you optimism that your team is going to beat the Patriots for the Super Bowl next year.
I won’t spend much time on this topic this week, but for right now, it’s seems like every year there is either a huge debate between two or three players who are going to go number 1, or there’s talk about the depth of the draft. This year is a depth year. It looks like nobody is going to be able to compete with Myles Garrett. The main question involving the top end of this draft is, will Cleveland draft him, or will they trade that gold mine that comes with a first overall pick for the long list of things they could get in return. Neither of the main quarterbacks available via a trade are worth the first overall pick straight up, but could Dallas trade Romo, along with a ton of picks, or could the Patriots trade a ton of resources towards Cleveland with Garoppolo for it? I think Cleveland hangs on to the first pick and trades their 12th pick with New England for Garappolo, given Romo’s age and inability to stay healthy. That’s just my opinion.
Catchers and Pitcher Reporting
Ah, baseball nerds, it’s time to pop those baseball boners and get excited. Pitchers and catchers start reporting over the next week or so…which means we are about 2 months away from meaningful baseball. I only pay attention to spring training so I can play in my fantasy baseball league, which I only use to pass the time until fantasy football starts in the fall.
A few things to look for this spring that I’m excited about:
Which Byron Buxton shows up this spring, the legendary level prospect that has flashed potential or the offensively inept player who hit .193 over his first 63 games in the big leagues last year? I hope he’s the superstar I waited on in my league for over a year before releasing him and watching him tear it up when he came back to the majors.
Consensus number 1 prospect, Andrew Benintendi, is still hoping to break through in Boston this year. Players like him make spring training awesome. I consider spring training AAAA baseball, and that’s what I watch it for. I have no intention of watching Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw play in the spring, just wait until it counts for them. I know how amazing they are. Let me see Benintendi.
Matt Wieters is still a free agent. How? He’s not the awesome catcher he once was, but he’s still better than quite a few of the MLB starters. Who gets him on the cheap for this year will be one happy team.
One an almost personal note, I’ll be watching my two top keepers in fantasy baseball, Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper, hoping they stay healthy for the season. That’s how I managed to get both of them. If they stay on the field the entire year, I’ll be able to keep up with just about anybody on the home runs front, but those two definitely know how to get hurt. I hope they aren’t.
Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think. You can tweet at me about how stupid you think I am at commenting on sports @hale_lee. Now, each and every one of you have a great week. Unless you’re a terrible human being, then I hope your week sucks.