Well, with tons of things happening all over sports right now, including the start of spring training for the A's and Giants as well as the NBA trade-deadline which returned a familiar face to Golden State in Troy Murphy. So instead of just focusing on one or 2 topics in toady's post, we'll do sort of a state of the sports union address as the sports world transitions from the NFL period to MLB and NBA playoff time.
MLB: Well, being an A's and Giants site, you know what we'll be mentioning here, though to allow more room in the post, we saved our Giants work for The Giants Baseball Blog. So that leaves the A's, who started their Cactus League play Sunday are are right in the midst of getting their backside handed to them by the Anaheim Angels. Until late March, you won't ever see me express concern over losing, or giving up runs, but if I see players who aren't doing their job and aren't properly prepping themselves for the season, then we have a a problem. Not saying that's happening with the A's on Sunday, but they look pretty rough early on.... On a more positive Green and Gold note, A's left-handed ace Brett Anderson threw in an intrasquad game on Saturday and was nearly perfect in his 6 batters faced. He threw only 20 pitches to get the 6 outs and allowed only a few softly hit ground balls..... Good News A's fans, but I want to see him in some games before long before my confidence is sound.
NBA: The Trade deadline has come and gone and although everyone and their grandmother are probably already aware of the Melo-NY deal, but amazingly, there were some other trades that took place in the NBA prior to the deadline that didn't involve the news-hoarding 'Melo. Other than that though there were just two other deals that really garnered national headlines, those being Gerald Wallace's deal to Portland and Deron Williams heading to Jersey for a bunch of draft picks and a poor mans version of himself who can't seem to stay healthy... Deron Williams is a star point-guard, top-5 in the NBA and he'll make a difference for the Nets, but they need more than that... As far as Harris, I guess Coach Sloan thinks his injury days are behind him and he can mold him into a Williams'-type. He's got 1/2 of season to do so for next year and I see similar traits in the two on the court. The 2 first two picks help Utah in the long run, so long as Harris stays healthy, they win this deal. Then again, if Harris is a 40-game-a-year player from here on out, and the draft picks don't pan out, the Jazz win it hands down. They knew the stakes, and they played their cards. Wouldn't have been my play, but they felt they had to mix things up.
NFL: With so much talk about the NFL possible lockout and combine stuff, I wanted to steer clear from that and just point out a few notes involving your very own San Francisco 49ers.
Now, Coach Jim Harbough has gone nowhere near close to saying Alex Smith will start at QB for the 49ers in 2011, but he didn't rule him out as a possible member of their 53-man roster come September. Now that comes to the surprise of just about everybody, and I personally think Harbough said that solely for the purpose to up Smith's value to other teams. Let's face it, Alex Smith has played his last down in the red and gold and there's no way I think the fans would even let him in the stadium if he did come back (even though it was only about 50% his fault for his failure there but that's for another day). So, who does that leave, I think you go two options:
1) Trade for Kevin Kolb or 2) Sign McNabb, otherwise it's second-tiere college guy coming in and takign the reigns and I'd almost rather have Alex Smith.
-Quick Take on Two Potential Targets:
#1 Kevin Kolb Phi.: Obviously butting heads in Philly with Reid and Vick and you know he's not lasting in Philly. He, to me, is next in line with the Aaron Rogers' and the Matt Ryan's, problem is most NFL GM's are privy to that too, so he'll be costly. The type of QB you can build around, though the one knock is that he doesn't have the best arm strength... I personally would take him over all the available throwers the NFL trade-block has to offer this spring/summer.
#2 Donovan McNabb Was.: Like Kolb, has had trouble with coaching and has clearly lost some skill. Still though, he wins, and he knows what to do in pressure situations, an area in which typically ended in a turnover in the Alex Smith-era. Age is not a huge issue (32) but he wouldn't be a long term answer. With him, the run game of Gore and targets like VD and MC, the Niners could be an NFC contender in 2011.