Before we jump into this week’s Hot Takes, I want to acknowledge that this is the 1 year anniversary of this (almost) weekly column. We’ve come quite a ways from that first one, especially since we’re covering more than just baseball now. Looking back on those first takes, it would seem the Tigers have had two rainouts in their first series of play for the second straight year. Also, I have watched much less baseball this year at this point than I did last year. *sigh* (mumbles something incoherent about rebuilding years)
A Different Approach to the One and Done
The NCAA Basketball Tournaments are over (Congrats to ‘Nova and Norte Dame), so naturally it’s time to talk about the next college basketball season. Or in this instance, someone who won’t be playing in it. Top 10 prospect and McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley was committed to play next season at Syracuse. I say was because the day after the All-American Game, he uncommitted from Syracuse and declared that he will be playing next season in the NBA’s G-League.
This is huge for the NBA as Bazley is the first Top Recruit and “future lottery-pick” to shun the NCAA for the G-League since it’s inception in 2005 (then called the D-League). There have been a couple other instances of players entering the G-League instead of playing collegiately, but none of those kids have been highly recruited prospects before.
By entering the G-League, Bazley will both get paid, and be eligible to make money immediately from any endorsements that might come his way, so from a business aspect, this makes all the sense in the world. We’ll have to wait and see if it makes sense on a basketball level because while he’ll be playing with and against some NBA caliber players, most members of the G-League are there because they can’t find a spot on any of the NBA’s 17 man rosters. There is also far less National Coverage of the G-League, so exposure won’t be as good. If this experiment works out well for Bazley and he still manages to go high in the 2019 Draft, then this might be something we see more high school kids opt for instead of entering the murky, corrupt waters of the NCAA. I’m all for it.
A Scary Moment
The Warriors have been injury plagued this season if I’m putting things likely. But nothing has been scarier than the way Patrick McCaw got injured this past Saturday. WARNING: This video might make some uncomfortable.
Vince Carter undercuts Patrick McCaw who hits the floor hard, Steve Kerr is upset at Vince, Vince is distraught pic.twitter.com/7GQE6kHSqo
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 1, 2018
Now, if you spend enough time in Sports Twitter, you can find virtually any opinion and take out there. But Vince Carter being a dirty player wasn’t one of them until this happened. Many people were quick to start calling the Veteran player dirty, seemingly encouraged by the clip of Steve Kerr yelling that he was mad at Vince because “he should know better.” And Vince Carter absolutely does know better and you can see it immediately in his face. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen someone so distraught over something they just had a part in.
The NBA, by all accounts, is a brotherhood, and the way these two teams came together both in this moment, and in the media the following day should be an example for how the NBA can be. Yes, we all enjoy the pettiness, and the scuffles, but at the end of the day, stories like these are more important.
Steve Kerr comforts an emotional Vince Carter after Pat McCaw's scary fall.
McCaw is being taken to the hospital for further evaluation. pic.twitter.com/Y4qZVFL0Ch
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 1, 2018
It Is 2018 And We Still Can’t Get Replay Right?!
Get. Your shit. Together. The rules of replay have been clear from the beginning in all of its uses across the entire sporting world. You need indisputable video evidence in order to overturn a call or the call must stand.
This article by Deadspin does a very good job of recapping and discussing the stupidity that happened in the 10th inning of the Detroit Tiger’s home opener against the Pittsburg Pirates. To summarize, after a 4+ minute replay, the umpires of MLB decided to call Nicholas Castallenos out on a would-be game-ending run scored at the plate. There is no conclusive evidence that he was tagged, and the umpire standing directly over him called him safe. But alas, after an eternity he was deemed out, Gardenhire got ejected in his first game as the Tiger’s skipper, and the Pirates went on to win in 13.
Banners Are Tricky
The Houston Astros finally got to reveal a World Series Championship banner on Monday and well… it didn’t go according to plan.
Jose Altuve’s reaction is the best. JV’s is pretty great too. Both pale in comparison to the fact THEY NEEDED A LEAF BLOWER TO UNVEIL THEIR BANNER. And someone had to climb up the front side to help push it off. Amazing. How many other banners are so self-aware that they don’t look that great so they want to stay covered up? I mean… (whistles to myself)
Bartolo Colon Still Has Ups
This isn’t a hot take, but in honor of talking about him in the first Hot Takes, and because he’s still amazing, I present the latest Bartolo gem.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 3, 2018
You Want To Make Baseball Fun Again?
Hire this guy:
This umpire's definitely watched The Naked Gun.
(via encadwin/IG) pic.twitter.com/B3IwYeLTMo
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 3, 2018
A Very Extra First Pitch
In typical Opening Day tradition, a celebrity was on hand to throw out the first pitch of the San Fransisco Giants home opener on Monday. This time it was former reliever and fan favorite Brian Wilson. Before James Harden became what he is today, if you were going to refer to anyone in the sporting world as “The Beard” it would’ve been Wilson. And for the first pitch, Wilson entered from center field to his old walkout music, in full uniform, with one MAJOR difference.
This is not okay.
Well, That Lasted Long
As I was writing this post I got a text informing me that the New England Patriots were trading WR Brandin Cooks and a 4th round pick to the LA Rams in exchange for a 1st rounder and a 6th rounder. I am sincerely baffled by this move. The Pats traded their first-round pick just last season to the Saints for the young talent, who’s still on his Rookie contract by the way. The Rams have been very busy making moves and are not messing around, but this essentially withdraws them from the OBJ conversation. And maybe the Pats are trying to get in on the OBJ conversation? I mean, I understand this gives them 2 first round and 2 second round picks this year, and that Cooks is going to be a free agent come seasons end, but I do not get this one. Not at all.