Where Do Warriors Rank All-Time?

Tonight in Oakland, the Golden St. Warriors have a chance to win their 2nd NBA Championship in the last 3 years. Many people have been debating where this team ranks, not just in NBA history, but overall in the four major sports.

Approaching this topic with as much honesty as I can, I think that many fans and critics hold last years collapse in the NBA Finals against these same Cavaliers, against the Warriors. After winning an NBA record 73 games in 2015-16, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, losing 2 of those final 3 games at home, including Game 7.

In the offseason the Warriors added superstar Kevin Durant to their already historic lineup. While the Warriors did not equal the regular season success this season that they had last season, they have dominated opponents in the postseason. Entering Game 5 tonight they have outscored opponents by 13.8 PPG. They set a record for the four major sports with a 15-game postseason win streak. They are one win away from dethroning the defending champs with one of the greatest players in the history of the game who has appeared in each of the last seven NBA Finals.

hi-res-d0dc5cfe932cdfcf2c381809b6e1354e_crop_exact
Entering Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors had outscored their playoff opponents this season by an average of 16.2 PPG.

So…Where does this team rank?

In NBA history, its hard to say that they haven’t been the most impressive. Entering Game 4 they were outscoring opponents by an average of 16.2 PPG, which was the highest in the history of the NBA Playoffs. However, their 21-point loss in Game 4 dropped that total a bit.

Best PPG Diff in Single Postseason

195556 Lakers            +15.5                                                                                                                 197071 Bucks             +14.5                                                                                                                   201617 Warriors       +13.8>>                                                                                                               200001 Lakers           +12.8                                                                                                                   199091 Bulls              +11.7                                                                                                         >>Was 16.2 PPG Entering Game 4

Matching them up against other teams in NBA history and the four major sports based on their postseason success, it’s  hard not to put them at the top of that list. The 2001 LA Lakers (15-1) and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers (12-1) are the only teams in NBA history to lose 1 game in winning the NBA title.

Among the other major sports, the Warriors rank among the best also. In MLB, only the 2005 White Sox (11-1) and 1999 Yankees (11-1), under the current format, lost 1 or fewer postseason games. Going back to when the MLB playoffs started in 1969, only the 1976 Cincinnati Reds (7-0) finished a postseason with a perfect record.

493765_crop_650x440
The 1999 Yankees lost only one game in the postseason in winning the World Series.

In the NHL, the 1968 and 1976 Montreal Canadiens (both 12-1) are the only teams to win a Stanley Cup (since expansion) with 1 or fewer losses.  The 1988 Edmonton Oilers (16-2), under the current playoff format, had the most dominant run.

In the NFL the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to finish a season undefeated. It’s hard to enter any of the other teams that lost just one game in route to winning the Super Bowl (1976 Raiders, 1984 49ers, 1985 Bears), when you had an undefeated team.

Longest Postseason Win Streak By League – 4 Major Pro Sports

                                                                          League                                                                           2017                             Warriors<<        15    NBA                                                                               1992-93                        Penguins           14    NHL                                                                               1927-32, 1998-99        Yankees             12    MLB                                                                                 2002-06                         Patriots              10    NFL                                                                  >>Active streak                                                                                                                   >>>Source: Elias Sports Bureau

When looking at the fewest games lost, one isn’t even necessarily looking at domination as far as PPG or run differential, but then we need to break this open even further. However, even looking at that, this Warriors team excels in both of those categories.  If they can wrap up the NBA Finals tonight, that makes them a great argument for the best team in history of the four major sports.

Advertisements

NHL: Cups Won Before and Since Expansion Needs to Be Recognized

As the hockey world prepares to crown another Stanley Cup champion as soon as tonight in Nashville, I think its time we look at how the NHL records their history.

The Stanley Cup goes all the way back to 1893 when it was called “the Challenge Cup”. It was donated by the Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, and is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America.

images (2)
Sidney Crosby can raise the 5th Stanley Cup in Penguins history if they finish off the Predators in Game 6.

However, many hardcore NHL fans still get confused with when exactly the “official” tally of Stanley Cup winners goes back to. The history of the league is very confusing also with the amount of teams that came and went going back to 1917 when most NHL publications began registering Stanley Cup championships to teams.

What I’d like to do is break this down into two eras. First there is the era from 1915 to 1966-67. During the first part of that era, the NHL changed the number of teams almost every season. The NHL had as few as four teams from 1922-24 to as many as 10 teams from 1926-31.

When World War II started, the NHL then contracted to the “Original Six” teams. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs were the only teams that participated in the NHL “Golden Era” from 1942-43 to 1966-67. Needless to say, having only six teams in the league can add up championships very quickly.

Stanley-Cup-1987-Edmonton-Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers 5 Stanley Cups won since expansion started in 1966-67 are the second most to the Montreal Canadiens 10. 

In 1966-67 the NHL introduced modern expansion and doubled the size of the league. The “Original Six” played in one conference and the expansion teams played in the other. Since that year, the NHL has continued to add teams and next season will add the 31st team when Las Vegas takes the ice.

282412_502781a6ed438ea53f04ac78dbdf551ceb8a00e0.jpg
The Montreal Canadiens have won the most Stanley Cups overall (24) and since expansion (10).

Looking at how the NHL has tallied the number of Stanley Cups won, I get bothered by the fact that there aren’t any asterisks involved. Clearly, it’s a lot easier to win a Stanley Cup when you have a 1/6 chance as opposed to a 1/30 chance. Before the NHL diehards get crazy on me, its not that I’m saying you need to asterisk every time the NHL adds teams, but I do think there should be a VERY CLEAR recognition of Stanley Cups won BEFORE and SINCE expansion.

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to win their fifth Stanley Cup. They entered the league during the first year of expansion in 1966-67. That would tie them with the Edmonton Oilers for the second most Stanley Cups won since expansion. If they wind up skating around Bridgestone Arena with the Stanley Cup tonight, I think that distinction between Stanley Cups won before and since expansion needs to be understood and celebrated.

leafs stanley cup
The Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup since expansion started in 1966-67, yet have the second most Stanley Cups won in NHL history.

Looking at total Stanley Cups won overall, the Montreal Canadiens blow away everyone with 24. However, the next team on that list is the prime example why these distinctions need to be recognized. The Toronto Maple Leafs are next with 13, however, NONE of those Stanley Cup championships have come since expansion started. All 13 of those championships came when there were eight or fewer teams in the league. The fact that there is no mention of that really bothers me.

Stanley Cups Won Overall (Since 1917)

Montreal Canadiens                24>>

Toronto Maple Leafs               13>>

Detroit Red Wings                   11>>

Chicago Blackhawks                 6>>

Boston Bruins                             6>>

Edmonton Oilers                        5

>>Original Six Teams

 

Stanley Cups Won Since Expansion in 1966-67

Montreal Canadiens         10

Edmonton Oilers                 5

Detroit Red Wings               4

NY Islanders                         4

Pittsburgh Penguins           4

NewYorkIslandersSC_
The New York Islanders won 4 straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83, setting a record with 19 consecutive playoff series won.

So while you are watching the Stanley Cup tonight, please keep in mind the totals you see on graphics and what they mean. Honoring the teams that have won Stanley Cups in expansion with a deeper, much more grueling regular season and playoffs, really matter.

Mets Need A Quick Fix To Get Back in Race

More than any of the  other four major sports, the Major League Baseball season is a marathon. Just because your team is out of it on Memorial Day, doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to pack up and prepare for next season.

Looking at the standings on June 10, the New York Mets find themselves seven games under .500, 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East. How can this be for a team that was predicted to win at least 90 games and win the NL East in some preseason publications?

Many reasons. Lets start with injuries. Lost for most of the season so far has been their best offensive player (Yoenis Cespedes – only 19 GP), best starting pitcher (Noah Syndergaard – 5 GS) and closer (Jeurys Familia – only 11 GP). While Cespedes should be back today, Syndergaard and Familia will be out until at least August.

Next is their pristine starting pitching. Heading into today (June 10) the Mets starters ERA of 4.99 ranks 27th in the majors. Their starters have logged the 3rd fewest innings of any team. Only 25 times in the Mets 58 games this season have their starters gone 6 or more innings. That number looks even worse after May 1, as only 12 times since then have starters gone 6 or more innings.

download (1)
Jacob deGrom has allowed 15 ER in his last 2 starts.

Since their starters have done so poorly, their bullpen has been overused and exposed. Their 4.89 bullpen ERA ranks 27th in the majors and their 13 blown saves is the most in the majors.

Mets Pitching Ranks – 2017 Season

Starting ERA                4.99       27th

Starters IP                   314.0      28th

Overall ERA                 4.95        T-Last

Bullpen ERA                4.89        27th

Blown Saves                  13         Last

The Mets are winless in games they score 2 runs or less (0-13), while losing four games when they scored at least seven runs. We haven’t even mentioned the offense yet, where of the regulars, only Michael Conforto is hitting over .270 (and he is hitting just .173 in his last 14 games).

How did this team get so bad? What can the Mets do from here to clean this mess up and make the rest of the season worthwhile to fans in Flushing? Here are a few ideas.

KEEP TERRY COLLINS

Early on this season Terry Collins passed Davey Johnson for the most career games managed in Mets history. Despite Collins many attempts to ignite a fire under his team, his voice has grown tired to this bunch. At 68 Collins doesn’t need this aggravation anymore. However, I still think, looking at the lack of possible candidates to replace him, that he needs to stay.  If there was a Wally Backman ready to step in, I would say go ahead. However, Backman is now in Mexico as a bench coach for Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican Baseball League.

CLEAN UP THE LINEUP

Looking at the everyday ball players, one can get bored when going over the Mets boxscores. Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have been awful all season. Time for them to take a seat. If the Mets can get something for either Cabrera or Granderson, I say do it, but they unlikely would be able to get much.

The future at SS is waiting in Las Vegas and tearing up the league. Amed Rosario is hitting .339 and leads the organization in hits (84), RBI (43) and is second in slugging percentage (.500). The Super 2 cutoff date has most likely passed (judging from past dates). Stop wasting time and give the Mets fans the player they have been hearing about for the last few years. His input in the leadoff spot should ignite some life into a very old, boring lineup.

MiLB: JUN 18 2016 Florida State League All-Star Game (LoMoglio)
18 June 2016: St. Lucie Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) during the 2016 Florida State League (Advanced Class-A) All-Star Game at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, FL. Mark LoMoglio/MiLB

 

Having a consistent lineup with Cespedes, Conforto and Bruce in the OF (with Lagares filling in defensively late) along with deciding how to consistently get Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera at bats (Rivera could platoon at first with Lucas Duda) should give the Mets more of a spark.

REPLACE THE BULLPEN

Why on earth do Mets fans still have to see Fernando Salas and Addison Reed taking turns giving away games? Reed had his value as a setup man, but his season is spiraling out of control as a closer. He already has been overused and if he stays on the staff, needs a long rest.

I suggest Salas be released. As for Reed, if the Mets can shop him around to a contender who needs another arm, then so be it, but I think his time closing out games for the Mets should be re-examined.

Going from there, that creates some room for the Mets to give some minor leaguers with live arms a chance to change the chemistry in the bullpen. Since it’s really hard to gauge a pitchers worth in Las Vegas, I prefer to look at each pitchers overall minor league records to determine if they deserve a shot in the majors. Alberto Baldonado and Tim Petersen are both live arms who can strike people out and potentially close games. Rotoprofessor.com identified Baldonado as a “sleeper” candidate for a major league closing job a few weeks back (Closers of the Future) , while Petersen has consistently posted excellent strikeout to walk totals in his minor league career (4.41 SO/BB in his 157 minor league games).

Alberto-Baldonado-1-1-e1469153236321-400x316
Alberto Baldonado is one of the relievers in the minor leagues the Mets can turn to.

LET THE STARTING STAFF DEVELOP

Now that Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are back and ready to pitch, the Mets finally have some options to hold over people’s heads. While Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom aren’t going anywhere in the rotation, now they have a reason to look over their shoulder if they have a hard time getting back to success.

Zack Wheeler has been the Mets most consistent starter over the last 2 months, but his innings limit (somewhere around 125) will be approaching before you know it, so this also gives him a chance to miss a start and not be done by mid-July. This also puts added pressure on Robert Gsellman, who has already stepped up his game in the last few starts.

Now its open season again for the starters, just like spring training. Since the Mets starters have been awful this season so far, Collins has the option of sitting someone who doesn’t get his act together and can’t afford to let anyone work their way out of a slump with consistent poor outings. If you pitch poorly over a 3-4 start period, you either miss a start or go the bullpen. Hopefully this can get the Mets starters back to being what they were projected to be when the season started.

 

 

 

 

Gennett’s Accomplishment Truly Rare

Last night one of the most rare occurrences happened in the Reds 13-1 win over the Cardinals. Reds 2B Scooter Gennett became the 17th player in MLB history to hit 4 HR in a MLB game.

Entering the game, little had been known about Gennett and his career. This is his 5th season in the majors and first with the Reds after spending the first four years of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.

How rare is what Gennett did last night? Like I said earlier, only 16th other players in MLB history had accomplished that feat. Compared to other “rare” feats in a MLB, hitting four HR stands by itself. There have been 315 cycles, 273 no-hitters (not including perfect games) and 23 perfect games. Looking at that, Gennett accomplishment is impressive enough.

However, looking further, Gennett feat is even more impressive. Entering the game, Gennett had just 38 career HR in his 502-game MLB career. Only Bobby Lowe, who hit four HR for the Boston Beaneaters back in 1894, had fewer career HR at the time of his four-HR game. Gennett also made MLB history by becoming the first player to collect 5 hits and 10 RBI in a four HR game. Entering the game, he had just three HR and 20 RBI total on the season, so he surpassed his HR total and collected half of his RBI total for the year in this game.

Fewest Career HR Entering 4 HR Game
1894 Bobby Lowe            28
2017 Scooter Gennett     38
1993 Mark Whiten          38
1896 Ed Delahanty          53
1950 Gil Hodges               54
>> Source: Elias Sports Bureau
Who knows where Gennett’s career will go from here, but his accomplishment last night will forever put him among the rarest of the rare when talking about single-game accomplishments.

Music City Dances with First Stanley Cup Appearance

When the city of Nashville was awarded a Stanley Cup team in 1998, very few fans paid attention to hockey’s latest expansion team. That didn’t change much for the city and team through the franchise’s first 17 seasons. Despite recording five 100-point regular seasons and qualifying for the postseason nine times, the Predators only won three playoff series and never advanced beyond the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. – Colton Sissons notched the second hat trick in Predators postseason history, joining teammate Filip Forsberg from 2015 against Chicago.  He also joined the likes of Hall-of-Famers Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Mike Bossy in recording a hat trick in a Conference Finals clincher.

gettyimages-686987660
Colton Sissons hat trick helped the Predators to a 6-3 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

Entering this season the Predators were one of five current franchises to not reach a Stanley Cup. Now, only Winnipeg, Columbus, Minnesota and Phoenix (Poor Winnipeg gets the worst of it, cause they are involved in two of those franchises as the Phoenix Coyotes were the original Winnipeg Jets and the original Atlanta Thrashers are the “new” Winnipeg Jets).

So, what exactly changed this postseason for the 8th seed in the Western Conference? Why did the owner of three total playoff series round wins, equal that total this postseason?

Equal Scoring – Last night, Colton Sissons became the second Nashville player to record two game-winning goals this postseason. He and James Neal are the only players to record more than one GW goal this postseason. In the last five seasons, the only teams with more players scoring game-winning goals in the playoffs than the 2017 Predators won the Stanley Cup (2016 Penguins and 2014 Kings, both with 11 players).

Great Goaltending – Pekka Rinne has a .941 save percentage entering the Stanley Cup Finals, to go along with a 1.70 GAA and two shutouts. His .941 save percentage ranks as the 4th best mark in the last 30 postseasons. Overall, the Predators 1.81 GAA is the lowest in the postseason.

ct-pekka-rinne-predators-blackhawks-spt-0416-20170415
Pekka Rinne stopped 123 of 126 shots, which included 2 shutouts, in the Predators First Round sweep over Chicago, the top seed in the Western Conference.

Even Strength Scoring – Although the Predators have only outscored the Ducks and Blues in the last two rounds by five goals combined in even strength situations, they dominated the Blackhawks, outscoring them 12-1 in the Predators opening round four-game sweep of the number one seed in the Western Conference

 

Even Strength Goal Differential By Round                                                                                 Nashville Predators, 2017 Postseason

Conference Finals       Anaheim         +4

Second Round              St. Louis          +1

First Round                   Chicago          +11

Home Ice Domination – The Predators are 7-1 at home in this postseason, outscoring their opponents by a 25-13 score. Before their 3-2 OT loss in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals, the Predators had won 10 straight playoff games at home. That’s the longest streak by any team since the Red Wings also won 10 straight during the 1997-98 postseason and it’s tied for the 8th-longest home playoff winning streak in the expansion era (since 1967-68). Also, entering that Game Four the Predators had allowed exactly 1 goal in 5 straight home playoff games. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the last team to allow no more than one goal in 5+ straight home playoff games was the Maple Leafs (5 straight in 2004 postseason); the last to do it in 6+ straight home playoff games was the 1996-97 Avalanche (8 straight).

Head Coach Who Has Playoff Success – Peter Laviolette is the fourth different coach to lead three different teams to Stanley Cup Final. Laviolette won with 2006 Hurricanes and lost with 2010 Flyers. He’s the first American to do it.

Head Coaches to Take 3 Different Teams to Stanley Cup Final

Peter Laviolette<<      Hurricanes, Flyers, Predators

Scotty Bowman           Blues, Canadiens, Penguins, Red Wings

Mike Keenan                Flyers, Blackhawks, Rangers

Dick Irvin                      Black Hawks, Maple Leafs, Canadiens

>Only U.S.-born coach

cut
Peter Laviolette is the fourth different coach to lead three different teams to Stanley Cup Final. Laviolette won with 2006 Hurricanes and lost with 2010 Flyers. He’s the first American to do it.

The Predators will open the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at either the Penguins or Senators. They are trying to become the first team from Tennessee in the four major North American pro sports to win a title. Although they did not have a team until 1997, Tennessee is the only state with three active major pro sports teams and no championship.

Major Pro Sports in Tennessee

                    1st Season  Titles

Titans              1997           0

Predators    1998-99         0

Grizzlies      2001-02         0

>>Only state with 3 active pro teams and 0 title

 

 

 

 

Thoughts On The Greatest NHL Team of All-Time

All postseason the NHL has been promoting to vote on who the greatest team in the history of the NHL was. For a life-long NHL fan, this is one of the most interesting and fascinating conversations to have.

In my opinion, you can’t just take ONE team or ONE season. I mean, you can if you want to, but that’s not how I choose to break this down. A great TEAM is one that is consistently great over a period of time, not just dominant for one season. As we have seen recently with the Washington Capitals, having the best regular season record, even in consecutive seasons, means very little if you don’t win carry that success into the postseason.

I’m going to break this up into two categories. The greatest NHL team combining regular season and postseason success is the Montreal Canadiens starting from the 1975-76 season going through the 1978-79 Stanley Cup. Over that period of four seasons, the Canadiens won nearly 79 percent of their regular season games (.784). In case you didn’t read that correctly, let me write it again. THEY WON NEARLY 79 PERCENT OF THEIR REGULAR SEASON GAMES!!!! OVER FOUR SEASONS!!! That, my friend, is true dominance.

Names like Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Rejean Houle, Jacques Lemaire, Yvan Cournoyer, Ken Dryden, Steve Shutt, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard and Bob Gainey will live forever in NHL history. Nine Hall of Famers played on all four teams, 10 played all together (Rod Langway played in 45 games during the 1978-79 season).

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens - Game Three
Montreal had 9 Hall of Famers on each of their teams from 1976-79, including Serge Savard, Guy Lafleur and Larry Robinson. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

However, that dominance would not mean enough if they didn’t win a few Stanley Cups, which they did, winning Lord Stanley’s prize in each of those seasons. They do have one slight caveat that prevents them from being the greatest team, hands down, of all-time. The playoff system during those seasons provided a bye for the teams that won their division, which Montreal did each season. That helped Montreal avoid a best-of-three Preliminary Round each of those seasons. During that time Montreal would go on to win 12 straight best-of-seven playoff series, with only one of those series going the full seven games (1979 Stanley Cup Semifinals vs Boston).

That brings me to the second team on this list.

In 1979-80, the NHL absorbed the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers and Qubec Nordiques from the WHA, bringing the total number of teams to 21. The playoff format also changed, adding four more teams and eliminating the bye for division winners. The preliminary round also changed from a best-of-three to a best-of-five.

Islanders
The Islanders had many clutch playoff performers, like Bob Nystrom (23), Captain Denis Potvin (5), Stefan Persson (7) and Bob Bourne (14). Head coach Al Arbour coached 20 seasons for the Islanders, finishing with 537 wins in his Hall of Fame coaching career.

Entering the 1979-80 season, the New York Islanders were the defending Presidents Trophy winners, finishing with the NHL best record in 1978-79. However, their postseason ended when the New York Rangers eliminated them in six games in the Stanley Cup Semifinals.

The 1979-80 season did not bring the same amount of regular season success to the Islanders, who finished with just 91 points. However, when the postseason began the Islanders finally did what they had failed to do in reaching each of the previous five postseasons and won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. What it also started was the most remarkable postseason run in the history of professional sports.

Starting with their Preliminary Round win over the Los Angeles Kings in the 1980 postseason going through their elimination of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1984 Wales Conference Finals, the Islanders won 19 consecutive playoff series (including 14 consecutive best-of-seven series) spanning those 5 postseasons. What is also remarkable was that in NONE of those 14 best-of-seven series did the Islanders ever have to play a seventh game (they did however on two occasions have to play a fifth game in the Patrick Division Semifinals, which had replaced the Preliminary Round under the new divisional playoff format introduced in the 1981-82 season).

Those Islanders teams featured Hall of Famers Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy (in my opinion the greatest goal scorer in NHL history), Denis Potvin and Billy Smith, along with NHL greats such as Butch Goring, Brent Sutter, Bob Bourne, Bob Nystrom and John Tonelli.  By the way, my argument for Bossy begins and ends with his playoff goal scoring. Only Brett Hull has scored more PPG in NHL playoff history (Hull-38, Bossy-35) and only Mario Lemieux has a higher goals-per-game average than Bossy (Lemieux-.710, Bossy-.659). By the way, Hull scored his 38 PPG in 73 more playoff games than Bossy.

Islanders Greats
The Islanders who won 19 straight playoff series from 1980-84, featured five Hall of Famers.

During the regular season over that five-year period, the Islanders won 65 percent of their games. Now that’s not as good as the Montreal Canadiens late 70s run, but it was over FIVE seasons, while the Canadiens span of winning was just FOUR seasons. However, that doesn’t diminish the domination of that Canadiens team in the least.

So which team was better? Well, that depends on what you think is more important. To me, winning 19 consecutive playoff series and playing that extra round is vital in comparing records. That would make the Islanders better. However, just look at the 9 Hall of Famers on those Canadiens team and the absolute dominance they displayed over those four seasons. On that scale, the Canadiens are better.

One thing is for sure however and that is it would be a GREAT, GREAT matchup. The one thing I really appreciated about that Islanders team is that they could beat you any way you wanted to play. If you wanted a fast game based on skill, they had Bob Bourne, Potvin, Bossy, Trottier and Tonelli. If you wanted to play physical and fight, they had Gillies, Nystrom and Gary Howatt. Not that the Canadiens didn’t have that ability (after all they did end the two-year run of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1976 Stanley Cup Finals, one of the toughest teams ever), but they were just so skilled and fast that they would beat you mercilessly without having to fight.

 

 

 

 

MLB Top 5 Biggest Disappointments So Far

As we move into the middle of May, many respected veterans and established players have been struggling so far this season. Earlier today, MLB.com published a list of 10 players that have flown under the radar with success this season. Here is my list of the top 5 players that have done the opposite so far.

  1. Curtis Granderson, Mets – Granderson was never the best average hitter (.233 BA in last 6 seasons), and has been known to get off to slow starts. However, his start this season has been truly abysmal. Through the Mets first 37 games (he has appeared in 36 of them) Granderson is hitting just .148 with a .214 OBP Normally a player that can hit for power (20 or more HR in 9 of last 10 seasons), Grandy has just 2 HR and 11 RBI. If he doesn’t pick it up soon, he will find himself the odd man out when Yoenis Cespedes returns from injury.
  2. Alex Gordon, Royals – Gordon slipped a bit last season (.220 BA/.692 OPS) but his numbers this season are even worse. In 125 AB this season Gordon is hitting .152 with 0 HR and just 7 RBI. His OPS is .456. Gordon’s malaise coincides with the Royals, who at 13-21 own the worst record in the AL.
  3. Rougned Odor, Rangers – After hitting 33 HR and driving in 88 runs last season, the Rangers rewarded Odor with a 6-year, $49 million dollar contract. Through the Rangers first 39 games (which he has appeared in every one of) Odor is hitting .197 with 6 HR and 17 RBI. At 23 Odor still has a lot of baseball ahead of him and the Rangers invested a big part of their future with him, so hopefully this is just a bad start.
  4. Dansby Swanson, Braves – Swanson broke upon the scene last season with a bang, hitting .302 in 38 games and playing a big part in the Braves second half revival. However, this season the consensus ROY selection in the NL has really struggled, hitting just .184 with a .248 slugging percentage and 36 K in 125 AB. Great things are still expected from Swanson, who the Braves might send down to help get his confidence back up.
  5. Jose Reyes, Mets – Not much has gone right for the Mets so far this season, as they find themselves already 8 GB of the Nationals in the NL East. One of things going wrong is Reyes, who just hasn’t found his grove at all. The Mets have moved him up and down the lineup to help get him started, but his .186 BA and .269 OBP are a big reason the Mets are currently 5 games under .500.