Saturday, August 17, 2019

MLB power rankings for mid-August


By Rick Morris


NOTE: Rankings from start of season are in parentheses.


TOP TIER


2 NY Yankees (4-2-2-2)

3 Houston (1-3-3-3)

 SECOND TIER

4 Minnesota (3-4-4-4)

5 Oakland (15-15-7-5)

6 Atlanta (10-5-5-6)

7 Tampa Bay (5-10-6-7)

8 Cleveland (18-18-8-8)

THIRD TIER

9 Washington (23-23-13-16)

10 St. Louis (14-14-15-13)

11 Milwaukee (8-8-10-11)

12 Boston (9-9-11-15)

13 Philadelphia (6-6-14-12)

14 NY Mets (20-20-21-17)

15 Chicago Cubs (7-7-9-9)

16 LA Angels (16-16-16-14)

17 San Francisco (25-25-24-19)

18 Arizona (17-17-19-18)

19 Texas (13-13-12-10)

FOURTH TIER

20 Cincinnati (19-19-22-20)

21 San Diego (12-12-18-22)

22 Chicago White Sox (22-22-23-23)

23 Toronto (26-26-26-26)

24 Colorado (11-11-17-21)

25 Pittsburgh (21-21-20-24)

26 Seattle (24-24-25-25)

FIFTH TIER

27 Miami (30-30-27-27)

28 Kansas City (28-29-28-28)

SIXTH TIER

29 Baltimore (29-29-30-29)

30 Detroit (27-27-29-30)


BIGGEST RISERS: Washington (7 spots), Boston, NY Mets, St. Louis and Toronto (3 spots)


BIGGEST FALLERS: Texas (9 spots), Chicago Cubs (6 spots), Colorado (3 spots)


RANKINGS BY DIVISION – 1 POINT PER RANKING SPOT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL TEAM


2 NL EAST 69

3 AL EAST 73

4T NL CENTRAL 81

4T NL WEST 81

6 AL CENTRAL 92


RANKINGS BY LEAGUE

1 AL 234

2 NL 239

Monday, August 5, 2019

MLB power rankings for start of August


By Rick Morris


NOTE: Rankings from start of season are in parentheses.


TOP TIER


2 NY Yankees (4-2-2)

3 Houston (1-3-3)

 SECOND TIER

4 Minnesota (3-4-4)

5 Oakland (15-15-7)

6 Atlanta (10-5-5)

7 Tampa Bay (5-10-6)

8 Cleveland (18-18-8)

THIRD TIER

9 Chicago Cubs (7-7-9)

10 Texas (13-13-12)

11 Milwaukee (8-8-10)

12 Philadelphia (6-6-14)

13 St. Louis (14-14-15)

14 LA Angels (16-16-16)

15 Boston (9-9-11)

16 Washington (23-23-13)

17 NY Mets (20-20-21)

18 Arizona (17-17-19)

19 San Francisco (25-25-24)

FOURTH TIER

20 Cincinnati (19-19-22)

21 Colorado (11-11-17)

22 San Diego (12-12-18)

23 Chicago White Sox (22-22-23)

24 Pittsburgh (21-21-20)

25 Seattle (24-24-25)

26 Toronto (26-26-26)

FIFTH TIER

27 Miami (30-30-27)

28 Kansas City (28-29-28)

29 Baltimore (29-29-30)

SIXTH TIER

30 Detroit (27-27-29)


BIGGEST RISERS: San Francisco (5 spots), NY Mets (4 spots)


BIGGEST FALLERS: Boston, Colorado, Pittsburgh and San Diego (4 spots), Washington (3 spots)


RANKINGS BY DIVISION – 1 POINT PER RANKING SPOT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL TEAM


2 NL CENTRAL 77

3 NL EAST 78

4 AL EAST 79

5 NL WEST 81

6 AL CENTRAL 93


RANKINGS BY LEAGUE

1 AL 229

2 NL 236

Friday, July 26, 2019

The three-point shot is here to stay, but …


By Steve Kallas (posted by Rick Morris)
                           

NOTE: Originally published in the Mount Vernon Press.


While there had been prior experiments with the three-point shot in the history of basketball, it really came to the fore with the creation of the American Basketball Association in 1967.  Back then, any opposition league to the NBA had failed.  The ABA came in with a red, white and blue basketball and the three-point shot to add excitement to the game.


Indeed, the purpose of the shot, according to ABA Commissioner George Mikan (ironically, a big man, NBA Hall of Famer), was to “give the smaller player a chance to score and open up the defense to make the game more enjoyable for the fans.”


THE THREE-POINT SHOT IS EXCITING, BUT …


Well, it really did start off as kind of a gimmick.  Who determined that making a shot from long range was more difficult and worth more than a player who splits a double team, drives to the basket and double pumps around a seven-footer to score a lay-up?  As far as this writer believes, this would be much more difficult (and, thus, worth more?) than somebody standing alone behind a line that is now too short (given how much shooting has improved in the last twenty years) and making an open (sometimes set) shot.


And it certainly doesn’t help just the “small player.”  Seven-footers taking and making threes has become commonplace in the NBA (Dirk Nowitzki, anyone?).  You get the point.


And it’s not like the great “smaller player” even needs “a chance to score.”  Tiny Archibald, an incredible (and shorter) NBA player, is still the only player in NBA history to lead the league in points (34) and assists (11.4) in the same season.  The three wasn’t even introduced until the end of his career.


What about the great Allen Iverson?  An NBA superstar, he only shot 31.3% from three in his career.  He certainly didn’t need it to be a great NBA player.


WHY NOT A FOUR-POINT SHOT?


Well, if you’re going that way, why not?  35 feet (guys like Curry and Lillard already have that in their game), 40 feet, how about half-court?


Maybe that’s a little ridiculous, but many thought the three itself was ridiculous when first introduced.
                                                  

WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN AROUND IN THE PAST?


Well, for you old-time, forever Knick fans, you will remember Game 3 of the 1970 Finals.  You know, Knicks v. Lakers.  Series tied at 1, Knicks up 2, three seconds left.  Jerry West (the one guy who would definitely have been one of the greatest three-point shooters ever) gets the inbounds, dribbles three times and scores on a 60-footer to tie up the game.


With a three-point shot, the Lakers win the game, take a 2-1 lead and, maybe, win the 1970 Championship.  Instead we got Willis Reed, Game 7 and Clyde with (maybe) the greatest Game 7 performance ever.


BUT IT’S A DIFFERENT WORLD NOW


The first year of the three in the NBA, teams averaged 2.8 threes taken per game (all stats from Shot Tracker).  This past season, they averaged NINETEEN threes per team per game.  The analytics tell us that taking a three is better than taking a two, yet, two of the three best players in the NBA, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, are probably the two best “mid-range” shooters in the game.


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?


Well, the three-pointer has, today, stood the game on its head.  On three-on-one (or two) fast breaks, at least one (if not two) of the wings runs to the three-point line (as opposed to going to the basket). 


That won’t change.  But, at a minimum, the NBA has to move the three-point line back (and even widen the court) so the corner three doesn’t remain such an easy shot.  The players today have adapted to a shot that was considered a “bad” shot decades ago.


The NBA has to make it more difficult.
 
© COPYRIGHT 2019 BY STEVE KALLAS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

MLB power rankings for start of June


By Rick Morris


TOP TIER

1 Houston

2 LA Dodgers

3 Minnesota

4 NY Yankees

5 Tampa Bay

SECOND TIER

6 Philadelphia

7 Chicago Cubs

8 Milwaukee

9 Boston

10 Atlanta

11 Colorado

12 San Diego

13 Texas

14 St. Louis

15 Oakland

16 LA Angels

17 Arizona

18 Cleveland

19 Cincinnati

20 NY Mets

21 Pittsburgh

22 Chicago White Sox

23 Washington

24 Seattle

25 San Francisco

26 Toronto

27 Detroit

THIRD TIER

28 Kansas City

29 Baltimore

30 Miami


RANKINGS BY DIVISION – 1 POINT PER RANKING SPOT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL TEAM

1 NL WEST 67

2T NL CENTRAL 69

2T AL WEST 69

4 AL EAST 73

5 NL EAST 89

6 AL CENTRAL 98


RANKINGS BY LEAGUE

1 NL 225

2 AL 240

Monday, May 27, 2019

Happy Memorial Day


By Rick Morris

NOTE: This is our annual Memorial Day tribute from The FDH Lounge.

Veterans have always been heroes to me, people who put a cause greater than themselves ahead of their own well-being. This very visceral account of D-Day from the late hero Charles Durning tells the story in all of its honor and horror.  For anyone dense enough not to understand why flag desecration incites anyone with a shred of decency, sit through this.



       


       


       


       

Monday, May 13, 2019

2019 FDH NBA Conference Finals predictions


By Rick Morris


NOTE: 10-2 so far


Milwaukee over Toronto in 6

Golden State over Portland in 6


NBA FINALS

Golden State over Milwaukee in 6

Thursday, May 9, 2019

2019 FDH Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Final predictions


By Rick Morris


NOTE: 6-6 so far.


Boston over Carolina in 6

St. Louis over San Jose in 6


STANLEY CUP FINAL

St. Louis over Boston in 6

Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 FDH NBA Second Round Playoff predictions


By Rick Morris




Milwaukee over Boston in 7

Toronto over Philadelphia in 6

Golden State over Houston in 7

Denver over Portland in 6 or Portland over San Antonio in 6


CONFERENCE FINALS

Milwaukee over Toronto in 6

Golden State over Denver in 6 or Golden State over Portland in 6


NBA FINALS

Golden State over Milwaukee in 6

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2019 NFL Draft top prospect videos


By Rick Morris


This is one of the elements contained within PRO FOOTBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2019.


Josh Allen


       


       


       


       


Nick Bosa


       


       


        


       


Clelin Ferrell


       


       


       


       


Rashan Gary


       


       


       


       


Dwayne Haskins


       


       


       


       


Drew Lock


       


       


       


       


DJ Metcalf


       


       


       


       


Byron Murphy


       


       


       


       


Kyler Murray


       


       


       


       


Ed Oliver


       


       


       


       


Montez Sweat


       


       


       


       


Devin White


       


       


       


       


Christian Wilkins


       


       


       


       


Greedy Williams


       


       


       


       


Quinnen Williams