Thursday, March 8, 2012

TCU and Baylor combine for 13 hit batsmen

In college baseball normally there are scores of hits in any given game. Unless there is a truly special pitcher on the mound, games usually result in a 12-10 slugfest. Ok, not all games are like that but it's pretty close.

TCU and Baylor put on the hits Tuesday night but in a different way. The two teams combined to plunk 13 batters in the game. The 13 hit batsmen were more than the hit total which was 12. 10 Baylor batters were hit and three TCU hitters were hit.

"It was ugly, it was just an ugly game," Baylor head coach Steve Smith said in a report on the school's website. "It's hard to watch some of what we do, particularly on the mound. This was not a hard game to pitch, the wind is blowing in the batters' faces, and it's just not that hard."  

There were more batters hit by pitches than hits (12).

There were also a combined 11 walks in the game that took 3 hours, 53 minutes to play.

Baylor leadoff batter Nathan Orf was hit by three different pitchers.

TCU starter Brandon Finnegan threw 4-2/3 innings of no-hit ball, but hit six batters.  

Surprisingly this didn't result in a brawl, but I wonder if there's any bad blood behind it or will it affect future meetings between the two teams.

Josh Smith wants out of Atlanta

The Atlanta Hawks have watched Josh Smith grow from a teenage headache to a reliable player. Smith is having his best season as a pro and should've been recognized as an All-Star this season. Despite all the good the team has done this year, with injuries to Al Horford and Joe Johnson, Smith wants out of Atlanta. If not by the March 15 trade deadline then he could possibly walk in free agency.

That puts the Hawks in the unenviable position of trying to find themselves the best deal or just outright losing Smith for nothing. The reasons Smith wants to be traded are that he thinks he needs a fresh start elsewhere and believes the Hawks aren't committed to winning a championship. I would have to agree with Smith on the latter opinion. Smith also has said that he could reach his potential on and off the court by playing for another team.

Let me translate that last sentence. I want to play for a winning franchise and get some of the endorsement money being handed out.

Smith has been the subject of trade rumors before and he brushes all of it aside when asked about it.

“I really don’t pay any attention to it,” he said. “I just go out there and play the way I play and not worry about anything else. I know this is a business. Whatever happens, happens in the long run. But I know as long as I’m with the Hawks, I have to put my best foot forward.”  

If Smith is unhappy, he's not showing it and is giving his best effort which should help him on the open market if he doesn't sign an extension.

Teammate Jerry Stackhouse believes it would be a mistake if the Hawks trade Smith.

“His talent, that’s what you can’t give up on with Josh,” Stackhouse said. “It’s easy to say, ‘All right, let’s just move him.’ And then he goes and clicks at the next stop and you’ve got to look at that every night and you had it in house. That’s kind of the dilemma with Josh. You know you are going to get some uneasy moments from time to time but, for the most part, he’s really about winning. He wants to win. He’s competitive. I relate to that.

“How he handles his emotions and frustrations, sometimes he rubs people the wrong way and bruises them. But I think he’s happy-go-lucky. He thinks, ‘It was just heat of the moment’ and we can move on from it but he can bruise people. I think he’s learning that. He is learning to control his emotions a little better and it’s good for our team. The better Josh Smith is, the better the Atlanta Hawks are.”

If Smith is traded it would hurt the Hawks in the short term. It all depends on who they get in return. If they can get a good haul for Smith they might be better off for it, but all in all this is a risk that I think Hawks management doesn't really want to take.

Rasheed Wallace works out for Miami

Rasheed Wallace was once rumored to be joining the Los Angeles Lakers, but that didn't exactly happen. Now there is a report circulating saying that Wallace has worked out for the Miami Heat.

A source close to the situation confirmed Rasheed Wallace has worked out with Heat, but source said he hasn't decided if he'll play again. Source on whether Rasheed Wallace would be interested if Heat wanted to sign him: "It’s something he may consider.’'
Source said Rasheed Wallace staying quiet on if he might play again because "doesn't want to cause a lot of hoopla'' if decides against it.

Ever since the rumor of a comeback has came out, not much has materialized since then. It's no secret that Wallace would rather play for a contender than anywhere else. With the Heat lacking quality big men behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, they're always looking to add another big. Hence the interest in Joel Przybilla.

In the event that Wallace did sign with the Heat he would be the most colorful character in the locker room. I personally think Miami could be a good fit or Oklahoma City, who still need a little more outside of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.