Archive for January, 2007

Bullets on Coach Kiffin

January 23, 2007

As you may (or may not) be aware, I’m a Raider fan. A true SilverandBlack bleedin’, season ticket-holdin’, mother f!@#$%^&*er. Oops, I slipped into Raider mode. Now that I’ve regained my composure, let me hit you with a few bullets on the Raiders and new hire Coach Sarkisian Kiffin.

  • I wanted a young coach. Mission accomplished.
  • Everyone wants a young coach. In fact, SI’s Don Banks reports that 12 of 32 coaches are 45 or younger.
  • Do I trust Mr. Davis to pick a coach? Yes, if it is a young up and comer (think Madden, Shanahan and Gruden).
  • No, if it is a retread or internal candidate like Bugel, White, Callahan, Norvell or Shell.
  • Why not Rob Ryan? For my money if the players want him as head man, it spells bad news. Remember how badly the players wanted Bugel? Having continuity and promotion from within is a bad idea when your team needs a major attitude overhaul. I’m not even sure it works when times are good, as the new coach is then beholden to the players who helped him get the job (see Callahan, Bill for more details).
  • One of my favorite parts of being a Raider fan is referring to Al as Mr. Davis.
  • Another favorite is a tradition I have with my Raider buddies is referring to the head coach in reverential tones as Coach __________, rather than by last name or first and last names. As in “I can’t wait to see how Coach Kiffin uses LaMont Jordan”.
  • Of course once the coach loses the team, we start just referring to him by his last name. As in, “Shell’s sideline demeanor sucks”, which debuted in Week 1.
  • I also like how the self-important NFL refers to the weeks in the season using capital letters.
  • Will the Raiders make a deal for Michael Vick? The rumor mill has Mssrs. Moss and Porter and the #1 overall pick going to ATL for Miguel Vick and #10 overall. I need to sleep on this one, but at first blush it might be just the purge the team needs. On the downside, I’m not really a fan of Mike Vick.
  • One Vick related note: The NFL Passer Rating is just that. Meaning it does not factor in run yardage. It is not a Quarterback Rating, as commonly referred to. Such a tool will always undervalue running QBs like Vick.
  • Wonder if Coach Kiffin would adopt a lot of his former boss Norm Chow’s playbook from the Vince Young-led Titans if a Vick acquisition comes to fruition.
  • Finally, will Coach Kiffin be successful? I have no idea and neither do any of the other talking heads out there. Let’s just sit back and let the Coach Kiffin era unfold.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Advertisements

Z-Score Evaluation of Indy/Goldies Deal

January 23, 2007

The last few posts have dealt with the z-score method for evaluating NBA players. Today we turn our attention to using this information to assess the recent INDY/GSW trade. The three rotation players from each team to swap jerseys were Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu and Mike Dunleavy touching down in Indy and Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson and Sarunas Jasikevicius settling into the Bay Area sports scene.

There are three ways to use this tool too evaluate the trade, two of which will be discussed here. The first is to look at overall z-score, the second is to consider per minute z-score and the third is to look at previous years’ z-scores (which I don’t have available right now). So we’ll move forward with this year’s data and see what we can uncover.

First the overall z-scores, which apply only to those who averaged 20 minutes for the first 40 games:

  1. Dunleavy -.99
  2. Jackson -1.04
  3. Harrington -1.39

Recalling that a score of ZERO represents the average player, these three are all below average based on overall productivity. And the difference between them is small. So we did not learn much, except that this trade may be much ado about nothing, with middling players simply changing jerseys.

So instead let’s consider the per minute z-scores:

  1. Ike Diogu 3.47 (56)
  2. Troy Murphy 2.71 (71)
  3. Mike Dunleavy 1.46 (124)
  4. Keith McLeod .30 (178)
  1. Sarunas Jasikevicius .10 (193)
  2. Stephen Jackson -.09 (207)
  3. Al Harrington -.53 (228)

I put the player’s rank in parentheses to make the results even more obvious. Based on this season’s per minute z-scores, the Pacers netted the FOUR BEST PLAYERS in the deal. Included in that haul they got Diogu – the best per minute z-score player, who coincidentally has the lowest salary. Wow! Looks like a real coup for the Pacers.

ESPN.com’s Insider John Hollinger concurs:

“The 6-8 second-year forward has had trouble getting minutes in Nelson’s perimeter-oriented, smallball-friendly system. But while he’s averaged just 13.1 minutes a game in 17 appearances, Diogu has played brilliantly when given the chance.

Ike Diogu

Player Efficiency Rating

18.8

vs. NBA Avg: +3.80

Warriors profiles

–>

Per 40 minutes, his numbers jump off the page — 22.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. He’s shooting 53 percent from the floor and 79.6 percent from the line, with the last number particularly important because he draws so many fouls in the low post. Overall, his PER of 18.8 is easily the highest of any player in the trade.

Based on his rookie season stats from a year ago, this season’s numbers don’t seem like a fluke. Diogu’s rookie year PER of 15.8 also beats the 2006-07 rating of anyone else in the deal, as his percentages were nearly identical and his 40-minute numbers (18.8 points, 8.9 boards) weren’t too far off.”

So why did the Warriors do the deal? Well first and foremost to get out from under the horrific contracts Chris Mullin doled out to Dunleavy and Murphy. The second reason has to do with “playing style”. Coach Nelson plays uptempo and these “athletic” players are a better “fit” with his system. We’ll see. I generally believe “you are what you are” in the NBA. In fact relative to the NFL and MLB NBA players have the least variance from season to season.

So Warrior fans ought to approach the rest of the season with great trepidation.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Jasikevicius, Sarunas
Jasikevicius, Sarunas

NBA Per Minute Observations

January 21, 2007

In the previous two posts a method using z-scores for ranking NBA players was introduced, followed by ordaining Dr. Dick’s NBA All Stars. Today we take the z-score methodology and apply it to NBA per minute data for the first half of the season.

The advantage of per minute data is that it washes away the advantage top players have of simply being on the floor for 30-40 minutes per game and allows us to compare the performances of rookies, bench players and those who have succumbed to injury with their minutes-blessed teammates.

So here is what was done. All player with 100 minutes played (376 players) were included in the study. Z-scores were then calculated for nine categories (see the two previous posts for an explanation):

  1. FG Percentage
  2. FT Percentage
  3. Rebounds per minute
  4. Blocks + Steals per minute
  5. Three Pointers per minute
  6. Points per shot
  7. Turnovers per minute (negative weighting)
  8. Points per minute
  9. Assists per minute

As discussed in the previous posts, the z-scores for each player in each category were calculated. Then those scores were added together to create an overall score for each player.

The top ten scores were earned by:

  1. Brian Cardinal
  2. Steve Nash
  3. Dirk Nowitzki
  4. Maceo Baston
  5. Shawn Marion
  6. Manu Ginobli
  7. Alan Henderson
  8. Rashard Lewis
  9. Gilbert Arenas
  10. Amare Stoudamire

The three low minute players in that group were Cardinal, Baston and Henderson.  Tomorrow we’ll take a look at why they rate so high and why they are not playing more minutes.
As for the other end of the spectrum, who are the players with at least 800 minutes played (20 per contest) who are the poorest performers?

  1. Jason Collins
  2. Eric Snow
  3. Antoine Walker
  4. Desmond Mason
  5. Kenny Thomas
  6. Adam Morrison
  7. Tony Battie
  8. Willie Green
  9. Dahntay Jones
  10. Kevin Ollie

Later in the week we’ll take a look at why these players are allowed on the floor and who their coaches should replace them with.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Dr. Dick’s NBA All Stars

January 21, 2007

In the last post, we reviewed a method using Z-scores to rank NBA players’ performance. This time, we’ll look at the top thirty players using these scores and create 15 man teams to represent the two conferences.

For The Eastern Conference:

  • G Gilbert Arenas (2)
  • G Jason Kidd (12)
  • F Dwight Howard (11)
  • F LeBron James (8)
  • F Antawn Jamison (13)

The reserves are: Caron Butler (14), Vince Carter (17), David Lee (19), Dwyane Wade (20), Andre Iguodala (21), Michael Redd (23), Emeka Okafor (24), Chauncey Billups (27), Luol Deng (29) and Samuel Dalembert (30).

For the Western Conference:

  • G Steve Nash (5)
  • G Mike Miller (7)
  • F Shawn Marion (1)
  • F Dirk Nowitzki (3)
  • F Kevin Garnett (4)

The reserves are: Elton Brand (6), Kevin Martin (9), Kobe Bryant (10), Tim Duncan (15), Amare Stoudamire (16), Carlos Boozer (18), Shane Battier (22), Jason Terry (25), Ray Allen (26) and Andris Biedrins (28).

Any surprises? Sure. Mike Miller?  Averaging 17.7, 6.2 boards and shooting 47% from the field, while playing 39 minutes per.  Like LeBron he is above average in all but two categories (TOs and blocks + steals).  A fine season, with virtually no chance of making the real All Star team.

How about David Lee?   Averaging a double-double in less than 30 minutes per contest.  Shooting an ungodly 60% from the field.  Not bad for a 23 year old low first rounder.  Certainly deserving of recognition.  And, hey Zeke, how about upping his minutes.

Finally, Andris Biedrins.  Amost the same story as Lee.  Averaging 10.3 points and 9.7 boards, plus blocking better than a shot per.  Also shooting a high percentage: 61.8.  Plus He is only 21!

While this system came up with a few overlooked performers, it also identified most of the league’s high profile studs.   The list presented above would make for a great game.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the same methodology, but on a per minute basis rather than cumulative numbers.  Who knows what we might find.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Who Are the Best NBA Players This Season?

January 20, 2007

‘Tis the season for NBA writers (and fans) to begin the annual discussion of who could/would/should make the NBA All Star Game. Which brings us to Dr. Dick’s Mid-Season Analysis of Player Productivity.

So today I will first briefly explain my methodology, then create All Star teams for each conference. The NBA currently has 12 member All Star teams, but this antiquated number does not reflect the growth in the number of teams, nor the fact that individual teams can now carry 15 player, thus the All Star teams announced in this space will be comprised of 15 players for each conference. So, without further ado, here is the methodology:

To be included in the analysis a player must play approximately 20 minutes per all games his team has played. So for this Mid-Season Analysis 800 minutes played is the threshold. Players just missing this somewhat arbitrary cut off are Andrew Bynum (798), Lamar Odom (796) Antonio McDyess (794), and Fabricio Oberto (792). Perhaps they will play enough/avoid injury and be included in the year end analysis.

After identifying the 173 players qualified to be ranked, statistics in 10 categories are considered. A quick look at the ten categories:

  1. Minutes Played: Captures durability and coach’s willingness to play the player.
  2. FG Percentage: Proxy for accuracy and shot selection.
  3. FT Percentage: Can he make the freebies?
  4. Total Rebounds: Each represents a posession (whether offensive or defensive).
  5. Blocks+Steals: Only tangible measures of defensive contribution.
  6. Three pointers made: Indicates an ability to spread the defense.
  7. Points per shot: A measure of offensive efficiency.
  8. Turnovers (negative weighting): Each represents a posession lost.
  9. Points: The way most GMs, announcers and fans value players.
  10. Assists: Most nebulous in terms of direct contribution. But NBA types track it, so we’ll work under the assumption that they impart something positive to a team.

For each of these categories, the average is calculated for the 173 players being evaluated. The standard deviation is also determined. (Briefly, a large standard deviation indicates that the data points are far from the average and a small standard deviation indicates that they are clustered closely around the average. Follow this link for a more in depth explantation and the formula).

Then for each player in each category the average is subtracted from his production and then divided by the standard deviation, resulting in a z-score. Here is an illustration using LeBon James and Minues Played.

(Lebron’s Minutes – Average Minutes) / Standard Deviation = Z Score

(1587 -1142.2) /214.8 = 2.070

Translation : LeBron plays minutes that are two standard deviations above the average for the 173 players. A score of zero means the player is right at the average for the measure. In this group, Samuel Dalembert played 1142 minutes, the average was 1142.2, so his Minutes Z-Score is -.001, as the negative sign indicates he is juuuuuust below the average.

This same calculation is completed for each player in each of the ten categories. The results are then summed for each player to arrive at his overall Score. Continuing with LeBron his z-scores look like this:

  1. Minutes Played: 2.070
  2. FG Percentage: .165
  3. FT Percentage: -.415
  4. Total Rebounds: .741
  5. Blocks+Steals: 1.255
  6. Three pointers made: .760
  7. Points per shot: .485
  8. Turnovers (negative weighting): -2.318
  9. Points: 2.738
  10. Assists: 1.684

Looking at these ten scores, it is apparent that LeBron is better than the other 800+ minute players in eight of the categories (positive values) and below average in two maeasures – Turnovers and FT Percentage (negative values).  It can also be noted that in two categories he is two standard deviations above the average player. This means he is better than 95% of players on each of those measures.
Adding all of these scores together, LeBron’s overall Score is 7.166. In the next post, we’ll see where he ranks among his peers so far this season.

Breaking Warriors/Pacers Trade

January 17, 2007

According to ESPN.com:

The Golden State Warriors have agreed to trade Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell, NBA front-office sources tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The trade is scheduled to be announced later Wednesday.

Dr. Dick will return with an evaluation of the trade after it is official.

Bullets Over Blogway

January 17, 2007

By popular demand – or at least the based on the Comment of one loyal reader – the next few posts will focus on the NBA. Because, ya know: the NBA is Fantastic! – is that Old School or what? Anyway, we are starting the NBA coverage with my experience at Monday’s MLK Day Game in Oakland: Warriors vs Clips. What follows is a disorganized, poorly thought out series of comments:

  • The first quarter was one of the low energy periods of the 100+ NBA games I have attended.
  • Having said that, Monta Ellis was awesome in the first Q. By the second Q he had 18 points in 18 minutes. It must be nice to be just a little quicker than everyone else in an NBA game…I wouldn’t know.
  • Nellie needs to use his bench more. Ellis and Davis played the first 20 minutes without substitution. I know the bench was thin (only Dunleavy, Diougu and Azubuike available). But this pattern KILLS Monta. In his next 20 minutes he scored only 6 more points.
  • Playing excessive minutes isn’t doing Baron any favors either, but this pattern fits with Nellie’s previous overworking of his key players. In the new year, Baron has played 48, 40, 48, 32, 39, 38 and 43 minutes – an average of over 41 MPG. Doesn’t Baron have a history of breaking down physically? Check. How many games has he played in each of the four previous seasons? 54, 46, 67 and 50. Hardly a beacon of durability.
  • Remember Tim Hardaway? Apparently Nelson doesn’t. In the 91-93 seasons, he was on the floor 39.2, 41.1 and 39.5 MPG. The work load broke Hardaway down, as he missed the entire ’94 season and played just 62 games in 1995.
  • How about Chris Mullin? He played the most minutes in the NBA in 91 and 92. Then he broke down, with games played totals of 46, 62, 25 and 55 the next four seasons.
  • Back to the Clips game. Going to the game with my Dad is always fun. With lots of back and forth banter, a theme usually emerges. This time it was missed FTs. The Goldies were 12 of 25 after 3 quarters, yet held a two point lead. In the fourth they were 12 for 12 and won by 15 points.
  • Sam Cassell is wildly entertaining. In the fourth, as the game slipped away, Dunleavy the Elder called a TO. Cassell slammed the ball to the ground out of frustration. Veteran official Jim Clark T’d Cassell up immediately. Then Cassell engaged Clark in a protracted discussion, including hugging Clark and pleading his case that the ball slamming had nothing to do with officiating. You really had to see it.
  • Cassell also entertains with his play. It seems at least thrice he was able to get defenders airborne with his slow-mo pump fake. Exquisite.
  • The MLK I Have A Dream Speech broadcast at the half was a fitting and moving presentation.
  • In the second half we were lucky enough to be invited to a luxury box by a friend. Always a nice experience. I used to wonder why corporations pay top dollar to sit so far away from the floor, rather than just buy great tix. But having had the box experience a few times now, the view is great and the privacy for biz people hosting clients is unbeatable. Not to mention the food and adult beverage access.
  • Will Livingston ever reach his potential? I’m no closer to the answer after this viewing. His skills are tantalizing, and 9.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.4 boards in 30 minutes a game ain’t bad. But does he have the will to dominate? Still only 21 it is still to soon to give up.
  • Surprised to see former Oregon Ducks great Luke Jackson in town on a 10-day contract with the Clips. Wonder if he’ll ever amount to much. Could he emerge in the right system, as Kapono has? Hard to say. Injuries limited Jackson to just 46 games in two seasons with the Cavs. Here’s hoping better days are ahead.
  • Memo to Commish Stern: The zero tolerance on players chastising refs has made a good product even better.
  • Another officiating note: Violet Palmer had a good game and has evolved as a ref. I expect to see her get some post-season assignments this year.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Wrapping the HOF Discussion (Part Last)

January 16, 2007

After posting comments on some of those unworthy of additional HOF consideration – Hersheiser, Belle, Saberhagen, Canseco, Fernandez, Bichette, Davis and Bonilla – I have just a few quick thoughts on the balance of those receiving less than 5% of the media members votes – Caminiti, Buhner, Brosius, Joyner, White and Witt.

  • Caminiti ($38 million) Only Thought: ‘Roids. ❤ time AS, MVP>
  • Buhner: ($37 million) Thoughts:  Traded by Yanks for Ken Phelps; Have about 100 of his rookie cards – estimated total value $5.00. <1 time AS, hit 310 HRS>
  • Brosius: ($22 million)  Thoughts:  Sucked for a few years on A’s; went to Yanks and played OK; even made an AS team, ah the power of playing in NY; this bum made an AS team and Eric Chavez never has? <.257 career BA, 141 HRs>
  • Joyner: ($40 million)  Thoughts: Finished a very close second to Canseco in 1986 ROY balloting…career went downhill from there; never drove in 100 after second season.  <.289 career BA, 204 HRs>
  • White: ($37 million) Thoughts: Awesome defensive range; won seven Gold Gloves; three time AS <.257 BA, 208 HRs, 346 SBs>
  • Witt: ($21 million)  Thoughts: Hard throwing righty; part of Sierra for Canseco swap. <Career mark 142-157>

Hope you enjoyed the stroll down memory lane…That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Baseball HOF: The Cuts (Part 2 of 3)

January 13, 2007

Back with Part 2 of the review of players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but failing to receive 5% of the vote in order to stay eligible for next year’s balloting.  Yesterday in this space we covered the Albert Belle, Orel Hersheiser, Brett Saberhagen, Jose Canseco and Paul O’Neill.  The first four of whom I’m sure were considered likely HOF selections early in their careers.  But things don’t always work out.

Today’s group, with perhaps one exception, never labored under the illusion of HOF aspirations, but each was a fine player in his own right.  On to today’s contestants:

 Tony Fernandez ($21 million) First thought: Light hitting Jays shortstop.  Second thought: Slick fielder.  Third thought: That’s about it.

A look at his stats shows he broke in at age 21, played reliably for 17 seasons.  A three time all star.  Four time Gold Glover, consistent with my recollection of his fielding ability.  Higher career batting average than I would have guessed – a very good .288.  As I remembered, a light weight bat with just 94 HRs, but did leg out 92 career triples.  Was the youngest AL player in 1983 and the AL’s oldest in 2001, a seemingly rare double.  Best season was 1987 when he finished 8th in MVP voting by hitting .322 with 67 RBIs and 90 runs scored.

Dante Bichette ($43 million) First thought: Brawny slugger.  Second thought: Broke in with Angels.  Third thought was a Coors Field-inflated-stat guy.

His career stats tell pretty much that story, but as with Fernandez, Bichette was a lot more impressive than my memory allowed.   He played 14 years with stints including the Angels, Brewers, before the Rockies and the Reds and Red Sox late in his career.   Walked only 355 times, compared to 1,078 career whiffs.  While in Colorado, he posted five straight seasons with RBI totals and batting averages of 128/.340, 141/.313, 118/.308, 122/.331 and 133/.298.  Wow!  Finished second in MVP voting in 1995 while stroking 40 HRs along with the aforementioned 128 RBIs and .340 average.  Made four all star appearances.  Lifetime batting average of .299.

Eric Davis ($32 million) First thought: What a freaking talent.  Second thought: Too bad he did not get to realize it.  Third thought: Looked like the perfect ball player thin waist, big shoulders.  Fourth thought: Amazingly fast swing.  Fifth thought: I wonder how many all star teams he made?

Turns out the answer is just two (’87, ’89).  Check out these MVP finishes in his first five full seasons (400+ ABs): 12th, 9th, 13th, 9th, 12th.  Would have finished higher, but missed at least 27 games each of those seasons.  In my mind’s eye, I remember him as a Bo Jackson-type of talent that we/he never got to fully realize.  Not that he had Bo’s talent – just that we never got to see it fully blossom.  Since he was not a full time major leaguer until 24, reaching the HOF would have been a long shot, but man could he hit and field.  With so many injury plagued years, tough to declare a “best” season, but his last hurrah in ’98 with the O’s at age 36 stands out.  Hit 28 dongs, drove in89 and hit .327.  Good enough to earn him a two year deal, that included his highest salary ever: $4.4 million.

That’s all the time I’ve got for today…the next installment will appear Tuesday when you return to your offices.  Enjoy the MLK Holiday.  See you next week…Dr. Dick

Baseball HOF: The Cuts (Part 1 of 3)

January 11, 2007

Each year when the Baseball HOF voting occurs, we are all reminded of the great players who graced the fields in years past. We celebrate those who made it – Ripken and Gwynn this year – and we debate those who came close (roughly 50% of votes) – Gossage, Dawson, Rice, and Blyleven this year. Feverish factions renew efforts to get those who weren’t really close more support next year(25-50% votes received) – think Lee Smith, Jack Morris, and Tommy John. Meanwhile, local press wax poetic of their hometown’s heroes who garnered some support but not a substantial amount (5-25%) – Garvey, Concepcion, Trammel, Parker, Mattingly, Dale Murphy, and Baines. On the plus side all of these men remain on the ballot for next year.

Personally, I find myself more drawn to the other names at the bottom of the Hall news release, those players who did not receive the required five percent of the vote to remain eligible next year. So before these names fade into baseball history, I thought it would be fun to share a few thoughts on each of these gentlemen.

To keep you coming back for more, I’ll profile five players per day for the next three days. Also, I have included links to the baseball-reference.com page for each, in case you want to do further reminiscing.
Orel Hershheiser (Career Earnings: $38 million) First thought: The Scoreless Inning Streak; Second Thought: A flashback to the pain of the 1988 World Series; Third Thought: He couldn’t get 5% and Dave Concepcion does?; Fourth Thought: He could have been the A’s Manager this year.

Wow! That was a lot of thoughts. A glance at his numbers 204-150 in an 18 year career. Three time all star, finished in the top 5 in Cy Young voting four times. Best year 1988. Won the Cy Young with 23-8, 2.26 ERA, 15 complete games.

Albert Belle ($97 million) First thought: Crazy Person. Second thought: He could absolutely mash the ball. Third thought: Don’t call me Joey. Fourth thought: A guy I played basketball with in high school played baseball with Joey at LSU and told me he was a nice guy, but crazy.

Again with the four thoughts, not sure I can keep up this pace, but we’ll see. Mr. Belle hit 381 HRs, made five consecutive all star teams, finished in the top 10 in MVP voting five times (second once, third twice) hit .357 in 1994. Best season 1995: 50 HRs, hit .317, 126 RBIs, only 80 SOs.

Paul O’Neill ($61 Million) First thought: Overrated while with the Yankees. Second thought: Liked him early in his career with the Reds. Third thought: I think there might even be a bunch of Paul O’Neill rookie cards somewhere atmy folks house. Fourth thought: Tall, sweet swinging lefty.
The numbers say: Five time all star (mostly because he played for the Yankees). Never hit 30 HRs (only more than 25 once). Remarkably consistent: hit between 18 and 24 HRs each of his 9 seasons with the Yanks. Never drove in 100 runs until age 34, then did it four straight years. (Something fishy there.) Other statistical oddity: had a career high 22 SBs in his final season at age 38. Went out as a regular with 510 ABs his last year. Best season: In interupted 1994 campaign hit .359 and finished fifth in MVP balloting.

Bret Saberhagen ($48 million) First Thought: Didn’t he win win two Cy Youngs? Second thought: Didn’t he have a period when he was effective every other year. Third thought: Still picture him as a Royal. Fourth thought: Potentially great career derailed by injuries.

His stats paint this picture: Debuted at 20, averaged 260 IP over the three years he was 23-25 years old. Reached 150 IP just four times in the next eleven seasons. Certainly an example of why franchises today treat young pitchers so carefully. On the plus side, won ’85 and ’89 Cy Youngs, career mark of 167-117. Best season 1989 when he won the second Cy with a 23-6 record and 2.16 ERA. Honorable mention for the bounceback 1994 campaign when at age 30 he went 14-4 with a 2.74 ERA and finished third in the Cy voting.

Jose Canseco ($45 million) First thought: 40-40. Second thought: The neck twitch. Third thought: ‘Roids. Fourth thought: Bash Brothers. Fifth thought: Traded for Sierra, Witt, Russell. Fifth thought: Juiced. Sixth thought: Batting practice. Seventh thought: Ball bouncing off his head in the outfield. Eighth thought: Tried to pitch just recently. Ninth thought: I’m tired of thinking.

As you can tell, I was (am) an A’s an, so I know a lot about Jose. He was awesome for a few years, just like the other guys reviewed today. The historical record says he hit 462 HRs. He was ROY in 1986. A six time all star. Made the all star team as late as 1999 at age 34. He struck out 1942 times walking only 906. His best season was 1988 at age 23 when he won the MVP with 42 Hrs, 40 SBs, 120 runs, 124 RBIs, hitting .307. It was awesome to watch. Too bad about everything that happened after 1988.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2…That’s it for now…Dr. Dick.