Random Thoughts Monday
Man, did that Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson showdown fizzle. Eagle, birdie, par vs. bogie, bogie, bogie really sucked the life out of what looked like a classic. Even when Woods holed out a shot from the sand to birdie and looked on the verge of striking distance, Mickelson drained a difficult 20 footer for par and basically ended all hopes for a comeback.
It was weird to see Mickelson win the mental warfare game with a guy who was once invincible. You can talk about Woods' swing or his putting all you want, for my money, Woods' trouble is between his ears. His arrogance may have been his downfall as a person, but as a golfer, it was his best quality.
Losing Ricky Williams is a blow to the Ravens short term, but it might not be the worst thing for the organization long term. Baltimore has been lucky in Ray Rice's ability to stay on the field, but at some point, all running backs get dinged up and start to decline. It may not be this year, but history tells us modern elite RBs rarely last past years 7-9 of their careers.
Ray Rice will be entering his fifth season. It may sound crazy, but the second or third round of this year's draft is not too early to start looking for RR's replacement. Think about it. The Chargers drafted Michael Turner only three years after LaDanian Tomlinson. Ozzie will draft the best available player, but just don't be shocked if it's a running back.
I'm torn on Dan Duquette's first offseason as O's GM. I like the fact that he didn't stand pat and made a ton of moves. The bad news is I like almost none of the moves he did make. My least favorite deal? Trading Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for reliever Matt Lindstrom and right-hander Jason Hammel.
Even if Hammell manages to put up stats similar to Guthrie, which I don’t think he will, Baltimore gained one extra year of control on a starting pitcher and added a middle reliever to a team that will struggle to get to 80 wins for the next three years at a minimum.
Duquette's rationale for the trade was that it was the best that was being offered. My thought? If no one was offering a prospect, then take option No. 2 or 3. Let Guthrie pitch through the trade deadline; best case, he gets off to a good start and someone overpays at the trade deadline in search of a pennant run.
Worst case? He stinks up the joint and the O's lose him at end of the year as a free agent and get a compensatory draft pick. Instead, the Orioles are stuck with a guy who struggled in the weakest division in baseball for the next two seasons and a middle reliever the Rockies were reportedly considering non-tendering. As an aside, I'll bet you five of Stan Charles' dollars that Guthrie wins at least 13 games this year in the NL West.
Bottom line -- glad Duquette is doing something, just wish it was something I liked.
Posted Feb. 13, 2012