Daly Dose 06-16-21 A historic day in sports

This week on the Daly Dose YouTube video June 16th is actually a pretty historic day in sports! We discuss a few of the all time greats that were born today, a franchise changing move in the NBA, and the International Olympic Committee doing what they do best!

Daly Doses 06-15-21: Thoughts, reflections, and derision from the Mile High City!

The Denver Nuggets were swept out of the NBA Playoffs in four games by the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

The Colorado Avalanche were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four straight games after leading the Vegas Golden Knights in their series 2-0.

Which was more disappointing?

The Nuggets were truly starting to look like a contender back in March and April, until Jamal Murray was lost for the season.

The Avalanche were looking like a contender in their first two games against Vegas.

Based on the timing…I’m leaning toward the Avs being the bigger disappointment.

Not tough enough, too many empty possessions, ran into a hot team, and probably got outcoached.

Which team did I just describe?

Pick one.

Avs superstar Nathan MacKinnon was completely locked down in the final four games, managing just two assists…total.

Can you win a big time series when your superstar doesn’t lead the way?

Possible, but it’s going to be tough.

Then again, league MVP Nikola Jokic averaged 25 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in the Nuggets series against Phoenix, and look where that got him.

Side note: Jokic getting ejected in Game 4 was silly, and would not have happened to most of the big name stars in the NBA. Did he deserve the techinical? Fine. An ejection? Not even close, and there’s no way the league would have ever ejected Giannis, Harden, Westbrook, Steph, Durant, or Lebron in that situation.

Not all MVPs are created equal.

Jokic gets the least respect of any Most Valuable Player…ever.

Side note part #2: WWE referees are more credible than NBA referees.

I will die on this hill.

Bottom line: Both MacKinnon and Jokic probably need a little more help, and another year of seasoning to truly be in the hunt for a title.

Now both teams have decisions to make. The Avs will need to resign forward Gabe Landeskog, and goalie Philipp Grubauer, but that may cost big money. Matt Calvert and Tyson Jost would be nice.

And by earning MVP honors, Jokic has now qualified for a supermax extension, which would be the largest in NBA history. However, because Jokic has only six years of service, the center will need to wait until the 2022 offseason to sign the five-year, $241 million extension.

The Nuggets will also have to decide what to do with Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon very soon.

So we now have both Kroenke sports franchises possibly on the verge of doing something special. Will ownership spend the money to keep these teams together. Could they maybe even dig into the big money vault, and add another piece or two?

Based on Kroenke’s inability to get a deal done with a local cable TV provider to carry home games to their own local fans…don’t get your hopes up.

Daly Dose 06-09-21 Coach K to retire & CFB and NFL QB battles

This week on the Daly Dose, we take a look at some of the greatest athletes in sports that have a very special name in common. 

Mike Krzyzewski announced that he will be retiring from Duke, the Boston Celtics make an odd move, and we take a look at how the NBA Playoffs are unfolding so far. 

Then, we are taking a look at some of the bigger QB battles that we can expect in the upcoming College Football and NFL seasons! Who will be the starting QB for the Alabama Crimson Tide? What about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Denver Broncos, or the Chicago Bears? We take a look at a number of the top QB battles to watch this season!

Finally with Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, and Lon Kruger announcing their retirements, we count down five times that a college basketball coach had to replace a legend! 

DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 15: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts to a call during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 15, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Krzyzewski

MLB in May: The month in review

By Jimmie Searfoss

Major League Baseball has been exciting thus far. It opened its season to record breaking TV ratings in April, a surprise for many fans, and has continued to deliver surprises throughout the month of May. These surprises include four no-hitters in a single month, tying June of 1990 for the most in one month in MLB history. Yet the lack of hitting wasn’t the only story, some other headlines in May included…

A Sticky Situation

It is not a surprise that pitchers doctor baseballs. While it is illegal for a pitcher to artificially enhance their grip on the ball by using substances like pine tar, it has not stopped pitchers from trying in the past. 

As the fictional Eddie Harris in the movie Major League once said, “I’ve got to put anything on it I can find, and someday you will too.” 

In a normal situation, a caught player would be receive a suspension, and would have to face the sports world as punishment. This would happen on occasion. 

However more pitchers could be cheating than Major League Baseball knows.

Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson spoke out, claiming to have a list of pitchers that use substances to alter their grip on the ball. Shortly thereafter, rumors began to fly around the league about possible suspects. MLB sent a memo to all teams saying it will be analyzing spin rate as well as inspecting baseballs to crack down on potential cheating around the league.

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole specifically was called out by Donaldson that he had allegedly doctored baseballs in the past. Since Donaldson spoke on Cole’s alleged cheating, his spin rate has dropped significantly in his last two starts and has struggled on the mound. Yankee’s manager Aaron Boone simply wrote this off as a coincidence.

Sho-Time

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani finally gave the world what they were all expecting to see out of him since he debuted in 2018. Although injuries kept him from fulfilling his potential on the field in past years, the fans got to see a healthy, dominant Ohtani on the mound and in the batter’s box in May.

On the mound, he held hitters to a .171 average, while sporting a 2.38 era with 27 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched.

In the box, he belted 7 home runs in the month of May and had the most home runs in the AL for a period of time. On May 25th, Ohtani blasted his 15th home run of the season 117 mph, the hardest home run any Angel has hit since the Statcast era began in 2015.

The modern-day Babe Ruth was been electrifying during the month of May. Just don’t look at the Angels losing record.

A New Ranger in Town

Remember the name Adolis Garcia, because he could be the 2021 AL MVP. The 28-year-old outfielder of the Texas Rangers put up a slash line of .312/348/.633 with 11 homeruns and 27 RBI in May, yet had been widely unknown by the sports world.

Although Garcia made his MLB debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, his story is a lot deeper. He had defected from Cuba in 2016 and found himself playing for the Yomiuri Giants, a baseball team based in Tokyo, Japan in the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball. However, he only played four games with the team and did not tally a single hit in seven at-bats. He was then invited to spring training by the Cardinals the next year. After his debut in 2018 he spent all of 2019 in the minors, where he was eventually designated for assignment, and ended up on the Rangers roster, where he was designated for assignment again in 2020. He did however earn a non-roster invite to spring training from the Rangers who eventually picked up his contract and since then he hasn’t looked back.

He is currently battling for the American League home run lead and is a dark horse candidate for the AL Most Valuable Player.

Odd Years

It is true it is only June. It is also true the San Francisco Giants are currently in the lead in the NL West, and they have earned it. The Giants went 18-10 in a month that included one series with the San Diego Padres, and two against their rival the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The Giants have surged to a 2.5 game lead over the Padres in the NL West, on the backs of a resurging Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, who both had months that would make one guess it was the early 2010’s again. 

Posey blasted 12 home runs and slashed .288/.405/.500 during the month, a surprise for the aging star as the 34-year-old catcher opted out of the 2020 season and had showed signs of decline in recent years. Crawford wrapped up May by leading all shortstops in on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), and runs batted in (RBI). While Crawford had always been defensively valuable, hitting numbers like this are not common.

Kevin Gausman has led the Giants pitching staff with a month that second behind that of only New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. Gausman went undefeated in May, winning all five of his starts. In those five starts, he allowed only three earned runs leading to an earned run average (ERA) under 1. He averaged over one strikeout an inning and held batters to a .165 batting average. Unfortunately for him, his performances have been largely overshadowed by those of deGrom. 

The Giants opened up the 2010’s with World Series wins in the even years of 2010, 2012, and 2014. Is it time for odd years in the 2020’s? Probably not, but that might be fun.

What to Expect

With baseball reaching its summer months, this is where the real teams begin to separate from those who just got off to a hot start. For some teams, like the Atlanta Braves, June will be an important month for them to begin to reach mid-season form, and shake off their slow start. 

June will also be another important month for New York. Both the Yankees and Mets fate can be heavily influenced with the trade deadline steadily approaching in July. A bad June for the Yankees possibly means they could sell at the deadline, while the month can also give Mets fans a real look on the legitimacy of their team, which had an underwhelming May.

June will also be big for the MLB. Although the year began with strong viewership, past years have shown a decline in ratings. The summertime is where baseball shines as one of the only major sports on TV. Although the MLB is hoping for a continuation of their early success, only time will tell how many people tune in, I know I sure will.

Daly Dose 06-09-21 NFL QB battles we can expect

This week on the Daly Dose YouTube video, we are taking a look at some of the bigger QB battles that we can expect in the upcoming NFL season!

Who will be the starter for the Denver Broncos?

What about the New England Patriots or the Washington Football Team?

We take a look at a number of the top QB battles to watch this season!

Daly Doses 06-08-21: Thoughts, reflections, and derision from the Mile High City!

  • Our hometown Denver Nuggets lost their Game 1 conference semifinal game against the Phoenix Suns last night. The Nuggets actually showed some promise early on, but poor shot selection, missed layups, and their perimeter defense allowed the Suns to take over in the second half.

  • Do the Nuggets actually have any hope of winning this series, and advancing?

  • With a banged up Chris Paul, and Nikola Jokic playing the way he is right now? Yes, they at least have a chance, but they will have to make some adjustments.

  • Paging Mike Malone. Mike, please pick up a courtesy phone.

  • Especially when your team is allowing a 16-0 run in the second half.

  • It’s one thing to allow players like Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges to drop 20 points on you, but allowing Suns big man Deandre Ayton to go for 20 and dominate the paint? He’s not a scorer. The Nugget can’t allow that.

  • Having said that, everyone completely overreacts to Game 1’s in a seven game series. Let’s see how this series looks after Game 2 on Wednesday night.

  • Sorry, I am still in a state of shock that the Nuggets even got by the Portland Trail Blazers in the opening round. 

  • If you told me that Michael Porter Jr would average just 18 points per game against Portland, I would have asked “And where will the Nuggets be vacationing this week?”

  • Porter had three games in which he really struggled to make his presence felt. However the depth of this team, with players like Monte Morris and Austin Rivers stepping up their games, was very impressive. As great as Jokic was, the Nuggets actually outscored the Blazers with Jokic off the floor in that series.

  • Rivers shot 48% from three point range against the Blazers, and Morris forced them to go over those ball screens that Jokic kept setting, instead of cheating underneath and clogging the paint. 

  • Aaron Gordon can be key against Phoenix. He couldn’t throw it in the ocean last night, but he played well against Portland and actually shot 60% from three point range. Gordon has some skills that the Nuggets definitely need, and it seems he is enjoying playing in games that actually matter.

  • The change of scenery has served Gordon well, at least so far. 

  • Could Blazers star Damian Lillard be looking for a change of scenery after this latest playoff disappointment?

  • Lillard has been toiling in a small market, and making very little headway, as far as actually contending for an NBA title. 

  • In this NBA era of chasing championships, Portland should be very worried about losing their superstar. Unfortunately, Nuggets fans should be watching this closely, because they have some good players that they are going to want to keep in this small market too. 

  • As exciting as it was to see the Nuggets advance in the first round, there was a small part of me that truly felt bad for Dame coming up short yet again. 

  • Having said that, I couldn’t have been more happy for Carmelo Anthony. 

  • I know the national and even some of the local media, were bashing Nuggets fans for booing Melo, when he played in Denver during that series. 

  • He left a very good team here in Denver for a much worse situation basketball-wise in New York to “promote his brand”.

  • Show me a fan base that wouldn’t be angry at a former player doing that. 

  • You think the Green Bay Packer faithful won’t boo Aaron Rodgers, if he leaves, every single chance that they get?

  • Yeah right. 

  • After such a promising start to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, our Colorado Avalanche are in deep trouble against a very tough, very fast, very experienced Vegas squad.

  • Since the Game 1 rout, Vegas has thoroughly outplayed the Avs in seven of the past nine periods.

  • Barring a major change, that series is over, but I am really hoping that Avalanche coach Jared Bednar still has a few tricks up his sleeve. 

  • At least it will be football season soon. 

  • Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater on the same team?

  • And the hits just keep on coming…

Daly Dose 06-02-21 The NBA Playoffs and a big Daly Dose announcement

This week on the Daly Dose, we are giving you permission to knock off of work early today!

We have a very important announcement here at the Dose that you are not going to want to miss, as we are making a very big change to our current format! We are joined by a friend of the show to announce some news, and we are also talking a little about the current Major League Baseball Season. Which teams are surprising us? Which teams have been a disappointment? Which teams should we keep an eye on as the season continues?

Naomi Osaka chose to withdraw from the French Open, and we can’t help but notice that many people are overlooking the real problem she is facing. 

There is new legislation being introduced that would make college athletes employees at their respective universities, and we can’t help but wonder if that will be the best move in the long run.

Then, we take a look at the NBA Playoffs so far, and check on what we are learning from each series. Which teams will advance? And what is going on with NBA fans? 

Finally, with the changes coming to the Daly Dose, our Daly Dose Top 5 counts down the top five reasons that you are going to want to stop by dalydosesports.com to check out the new articles coming out each week! 

Are we seeing another “year of the pitcher”?

By Jimmie Searfoss

On May 19, 2021, New York Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber stood atop the mound in front of 31,600 fans in the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Kluber had not allowed a hit all game, the only blemish on his record being a walk to Corey Culberson in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, former top Ranger’s prospect Willie Calhoun stepped to the plate to prevent history from taking place.

He was unsuccessful.

After watching a slider catch the outside of the plate for a strike, he hit a routine ground ball to Gleyber Torres, who threw to first base in time to complete Corey Kluber’s first career no-hitter.

Kluber’s no-hit bid was the first for the Yankees since their combined no-hitter in 2003. Although it was the first for the Yankees in 18 years, it has been a common occurrence so far in 2021. Kluber’s performance tallied the sixth no-hitter of the year, less than two months into the season, one short of tying the record of seven in a year set in 2012.

Pitching has been overwhelmingly dominant the first two months into the 2021 season. Hitters have been held to a league wide batting average of just over .230, while the pitchers have accumulated an ERA of 4.02.  In comparison to the 2020 season, which played roughly the same number of games as the 2021 season so far, the league had a batting average of .245 and an ERA of 4.44 with 1,999 more hits.

Although it is early, it is fair to call this season a ‘Year of the Pitcher’, meaning a year where pitching took the center stage and dominated baseball. However, this is far from the first time this has happened. A few truly pitching heavy years shine through the pages of the thick history book of baseball. It is time to throw on the old readers, and take a deep dive into them, to see how they stack up to 2021.

1968

The year that originally coined the term ‘Year of the Pitcher’ saw such dominance on the hill, it inspired a novel written by Sridhar Pappu titled, The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age. ’68 featured pitching legends like Catfish Hunter with the Oakland Athletics, Luis Tiant of the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants’ Gaylord Perry and Los Angeles Dodger Don Drysdale at their best. Hunter and Perry each tossed no-hitters that year, with Hunter’s being a perfect game. Luis Tiant obliterated batters with an AL leading 1.60 ERA while Drysdale was busy tossing 58 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in the NL. This year was an all time low for AL hitters, leaving them with a batting average of .230, the lowest ever for the time being. However, in a year of overwhelming pitching across the board, The St. Louis Cardinals’ Bob Gibson and the Detroit Tigers’ Denny McLain stood above all.  Gibson held a 1.12 ERA at the end of the season while racking up 22 wins, 13 of which were shutouts. He also led the league in strikeouts. McLain had an absurd record of 31-6 with an ERA of 1.96. Since McLain, no pitcher has won 31 games in a season. Gibson and McLain each ended up winning their leagues Cy Young award, and MVP. The duo eventually met in the 1968 World Series, where they faced off three times. Gibson won two of them and set a World Series record of 17 strikeouts in game one. The Cardinals went on to win the series in seven games. Due to the strength of pitching, MLB changed its rules to make the strike zone smaller. They also lowered the mound from 15 to 10 inches high, to give hitters a better chance at the plate. The mounds height remains at 10 inches to this day.

2012

The world did not end in 2012, but it must have felt like it for hitters. This year featured an MLB record seven no-hitters.  One of which was a combined no-hitter achieved by six players. That was not the only record set by pitchers this year, of the seven no-hitters thrown, three were perfect games, an MLB record. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox, the San Francisco Giants’ Matt Cain, and Felix Hernandez from the Seattle Mariners were each perfect once. Humber’s and Hernandez’s perfect games took place in the same stadium (Safeco Field in Seattle) in another first for the MLB as no two pitchers had ever thrown a perfect game in the same stadium in the same year. Hernandez’s perfect performance is the most memorable one of that year. The famous photo of him celebrating with his arms raised, leg kicked, and famously slanted hat had gone viral at the time and cemented his nickname “King Felix”. Since Hernandez’s game in 2012, no pitcher has managed to be perfect.

1884

The ‘Year of the Pitcher’ is a year where pitchers in general dominate the hitters for that season. Although it is bending the rules of a true ‘Year of the Pitcher’ by only talking about one, it does not get more dominant than Old Hoss Radbourn’s 1884 campaign.  Radbourn led the league in wins, win percentage, ERA, games started, complete games, innings pitched, and strikeouts. With a record of 60-19, he led the Providence Grays the championship series against the New York Metropolitans of the American Association where he started and won three games in a sweep. He did not tally a single earned run in his 22 innings pitched of the series. Although it was in an era foreign to the game of now, his accomplishments in 1884 are still eye popping. A 1.38 era through 678.2 is unheard of in any form of the game, and if the Hall of Fame recognizes it as legitimate, so should everyone else.

1997

The 90’s was a weird time for pitchers. On one end of the spectrum, fireballers like Randy Johnson zipping balls by hitters for the Seattle Mariners, while on the other end pitchers like Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves were barely touching 90. Yet regardless of what the velocity was, chances were that the man in the box was not reaching first base. This was especially true in 1997. The season featured Greg Maddux’s famous 76 pitch complete game, which coined the expression, “to Maddux,” meaning a pitcher threw a complete game in under 100 pitches. This was also the season Pedro Martinez truly broke out. Martinez won his first Cy Young award with a 1.90 ERA as well as becoming one of only 19 other pitchers to strike out 300 batters in a season. Curt Schilling also joined the club after sitting down 319 with the Philadelphia Phillies. However, the pitching performances that cemented this year in the history books came in the postseason. Baltimore Orioles ace Mike Mussina, put on a show in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series by striking out 15, the most ever in an LCS, and third most strikeouts in postseason history. In Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, Livan Hernandez of the then Florida Marlins matched Mussina by out dueling Greg Maddux in a game where he struck out 15. Hernandez’s Marlins eventually went on to win their first World Series in seven games against the Cleveland Indians.

Final Analysis

When it comes down to it, this year stacks up well when compared to other pitcher dominant years of the past. With the no-hitters alone, 2021 has already cemented itself in the baseball history books. Yet, at the same time pitchers like the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom are putting up stats that are, so far, comparable to Pedro Martinez with the then Montreal Expos in 1997. Others like the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer with the Dodgers, and Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres have put up their usual Cy Young numbers and don’t look to stop any time soon. Any way you cut it, this one’s for the pitchers.

Daly Dose 06-02-21 The Top 5 reasons to visit the Daly Dose

This week on the Daly Dose YouTube video, with the changes coming to the Daly Dose, our Daly Dose Top 5 is counting down the top five reasons that you are going to want to stop by dalydosesports.com to check out the new articles coming out each week!

Daly Doses: Thoughts, reflections, and derision from the Mile High City!

  • The Colorado Avalanche are a true contender for the Stanley Cup, the Denver Nuggets will waste another prime year of Nikola Jokic, the Colorado Rockies are battling for the worst record in Major League Baseball, and the Denver Broncos still don’t have a bona fide quarterback. 

  • After the past year of dealing with a global pandemic, sports in Colorado are beginning to return to form. Things are getting back to normal. 

  • As soon as the Air Force Academy proves that they are once again the best college football program in the state over both CU and CSU, we are right back to the way things were. 

  • The Avalanche are the most talented team in the NHL. There are no glaring weaknesses here. Nathan McKinnon is a top-three player in the NHL, there is significant depth, and Philipp Grubauer is capable of being a very good goalie with that defense in front of him. 

  • Having said that, Game 1 notwithstanding, the Vegas Golden Knights may prove to be a very tough test for this young talented team in the second round. 

  • Physical play, and a goalie that is capable of carrying a series, could prove to be a very revealing test for the Avs. 

  • Knight’s coach Peter DeBoer’s decision to sit starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 1 could haunt Vegas. The Avs jumped on backup Robin Lehner early and often in a 7-1 rout. 

  • But I mean, at least Fleury is all rested up. 

  • I truly feel bad for the Denver Nuggets. They were starting to look like a true title contender before the loss of Jamal Murray to that season ending knee injury. 

  • Plus, they have to play for head coach Mike Malone, which would be enough to drive any player completely bonkers. 

  • Malone’s substitution rotation and in-game adjustments are confusing enough to fans, I can’t imagine what his players think. 

  • “I played great in Game 1 vs. Portland, why am I only getting 32 minutes per game since then?” -Michael Porter Jr.

  • “I am the Most Valuable Player of the league, why am I sitting on the bench in crunch time?” -Nikola Jokic

  • “Those Game 3 shots actually went in?” -Austin Rivers

  • The Colorado Rockies front office paid $50 million dollars to the St Louis Cardinals to take 3rd baseman Nolan Arrenado off of their hands, so that they can rebuild this roster from the ground up. 

  • Do you see the irony here?

  • The same front office of the Rockies that paid the Cardinals to take their best player is going to be in charge of building up this roster. 

  • They’re obviously very trustworthy. 

  • What could possibly go wrong?

  • Besides everything.

  • I am just as excited as the next Denver Broncos fan that somehow they could make a run at Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

  • Today is June 1st, Rodgers is still unhappy, and the Packers soon get significant salary-cap relief if they trade (or release) Rodgers. If the Packers were to trade Rodgers after today, they would save $16.050 million in salary-cap space in 2021.

  • Yet in times like these, I go back to this very important trivia question: Name the team that traded away a future Hall of Fame lock quarterback in their prime. 

  •  We have seen quarterback swaps like Pastorini for Stabler, or even Stafford for Goff, and we have seen guys past their prime traded away like Joe Montana, Earl Morrall, or even Warren Moon. 

  • Teams just don’t trade away Hall of Fame quarterbacks in their prime, but I guess we can still keep hoping. 

  • I guess we can also keep hoping to see Nuggets and Avalanche games on Comcast too, but that ain’t happening either.