Saturday, July 15, 2006

Week in review

Well, I just got back from vacationing in Michigan this past week, which was a blast by the way. Anyways, lots has been happening on the Ohio-front of the sporting world lately, so let me catch you guys up while I get myself caught up as well.

LeBron and signs 3 year extension: Contrary to initial reports that it was a max deal (5 years for $80 million), LeBron instead went for the three year extension, with a player option for a fourth season. The contract is estimated to be worth around $60 million. Although most people believe (ESPiN) this is a ploy for him to go play for the Knicks or Lakers as soon as possible to enhance his market value, this is just a way for him to get as much contract money as humanly possible, as soon as possible. When the three years of this contract is up, James will be a seven year NBA veteran, thus allowing him to seek a max contract that is worth 30% of the league salary cap in 2010 (estimated to be about $150 million), whereas players with less than seven years of experience can only sign for 25% of the cap. LeBron has since been followed by fellow business-partners Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who have both signed deals like that. The fourth member of the stellar 2003 draft class, Carmelo Anthony, signed a max deal, insuring his stay in Denver for the next five seasons.

Now, since we're on the topic of NBA free agency, I've been dying to address the issue of LeBron leaving Cleveland. And let me sum it up for you right here and now: it's not happening anytime soon. Not after three years, not after four years, not ever. Regardless of what ESPiN wants you to believe, when LeBron says, "I don't go ring chasing." he means it. The fact that he'd thrive because New York/Los Angeles are bigger markets is rediculous. Everyone knows who this guy is, it wouldn't matter if he got drafted by Tel Aviv's women's national team. We'd still know who LeBron James is, and we'd still buy his shoes. The kid was on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a Junior in High School. To tell me that he needs to play for the Knicks or Lakers to really showcase his abilities is completely rediculous.

On a Cavaliers side note, the Cavs look to be close to signing 34 year old PG David Wesley. What Danny Ferry sees in Wesley that he doesn't already see in Eric Snow is beyond me. With this signing, and the drafting of Shannon Brown and Daniel Gibson, this team is overloaded at guard for next year, which could possibly mean a trade sometime down the road. Who knows.

Buckeyes Land two more commits, a third on the way?: The Buckeyes helped themselves out on the offensive end of the spectrum for the future this week, landing RB Daniel "Boom" Herron and WR Dane Sanzenbacher. Herron never really put up any jaw-dropping stats in his two years as a starter in high shcool, but according to Buckeye Planet is a "tough, instinctive runner who always seems to be able to find a hole and fight for the extra yard." BP gives comparisons to Antonio Pittman. He's a tad undersized, but should have no problem adding on weight in his senior season and early on in his college career. Sanzenbacher is a three star receiver from Toledo who, although not being the biggest of targets (5-11/175) is very speedy and provides some much needed receiver help to the incoming class of '07. Another WR, Aaron Johnson from Louisiana, seems to be leaning our way. He posted on the BP forums that he will commit to play for Ohio State, but as we all know, the internet can be a very dishonest thing, and this could be any old schmuck trying to get our hopes up. Latest reports are pretty good in our favor, though.

On second thought, never put Travis Hafner on an All-Star team: Last year, when the slugging DH from North Dakota got snubbed, he went on an absolute tear, and completely demolished any opposing team that came in his way (most notably the Angels, where he hit something like 7 home runs in a three game series against them). This year, ever since getting left off the team again, Hafner is hitting .400 on the button with 4 jacks (including his fifth grand slam of the first half of the season -- a major league record). He also has 8 runs to his credit over the 10 game span. Oh yeah, as I'm writing this, he's playing the Twins right now and has already gone deep in his first at bat, and that's not included in the stats I mentioned.

Current Pronk watch:
BA - .325 (T-6 in AL)
HR - 27 (T-3 in AL)
RBI - 76 (3 in AL)
OBP - .459 (1 in AL)
SLG - .656 (1 in AL)
OPS - 1.116 (1 in AL)
R - 69 (3 in AL)
BB - 71 (1 in AL)

And somehow, this man wasn't an all-star

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