Monthly Archives: May 2016

What’s Next For Skiles?

With Scott Skiles resignation from the Orlando Magic, that makes 4 NBA jobs in which Skiles has flamed out.  Skiles was fired into his 3rd season in Phoenix and fired into his 5th season in Chicago.  Milwaukee was an alleged mutual parting in year 5. The relationship between Skiles and the front office was a problem in each case.  Personality conflicts between front offices and coaches are often a reason for termination in every major professional sport.  With 4 NBA head coaching jobs under his belt, Skiles is what he is at this point.

In 14 NBA seasons as a head coach Scott Skiles owns a career 478-480 record. Skiles has coached 11 full seasons with 6 playoff appearances. The farthest a Skiles team has gone in the playoffs is the Conference Semifinals.  Skiles X’s and O’s is a great coach.  His teams also play tough defense.  The problems with Skiles’ teams were the lack of scoring and his personality seems to wear on players.  The parting with Orlando includes a 2 year no-compete clause.  I would be very surprised if Skiles was offered another NBA head coaching job.

I believe Skiles should go to college for his next coaching position. There are a few former NBA head coaches applying their trade back in college. Skiles style of play and personality are better suited for that arena at this point of his career. A major D1 program could be scared off by Skiles personality and the turnover of his NBA tenure.   A mid-major D1 school with an administration that will let him run the show would be his best fit.  Larry Brown at SMU is the first one that comes to mind.  Brown always seemed to be looking for his next job while working his current post. Brown had a lot of disagreements with front offices much like Skiles.

Avery Johnson led the Mavericks to the NBA Finals along with 3 other playoff appearances.  Johnson was fired from the Mavericks and flamed out in New Jersey.  Johnson took stints at ESPN after getting fired from both NBA jobs.  Johnson wasn’t a toxic personality in his NBA jobs and is now applying his trade at Alabama.

Eric Musselman flamed out in Golden State and Sacramento in the NBA.  NBA personalities seemed to be too difficult for Musselman to manage.  Musselman then moved around the NBA D-League and worked as an assistant in college at Arizona State and LSU before landing the head job at Nevada.

Skiles will have some time to figure out his next move.  Maybe after 4 NBA jobs, Skiles has had enough of coaching.  Once you’re a coach, you’re always a coach. If that itch ever comes back, Skiles should head back to college.

Decision Time for Lincecum

Tim Lincecum remains a free agent weeks after his showcase.  The 2-time Cy Young award-winner has struggled with an ERA over 4.00 in each of the last 4 seasons.  Is the hip problem the main culprit for loss of velocity and command?  It’s possible the hip is a major factor, however 1, 643.2 career major league innings on a 170 pound frame could also be a problem.

Lincecum has been linked to the Giants, Angels, and White Sox.  Reports claim “The Freak” prefers a starting job on the West Coast.  The Giants have a rotation with problems at the back end with Matt Cain and Jake Peavy looking their age.  Lincecum could be better than one of both of them at this point.  The fact that a reunion hasn’t happened yet is not a good sign to me.  The Giants not guaranteeing a spot in the starting rotation could be part of the hold up.

The White Sox released John Danks and picked up Miguel Gonzalez.  Carlos Rodon has been inconsistent and Mat Latos has pitched better than expected.  The White Sox lead their division by 5 games and offer the best spot to win right now.  Would Lincecum’s stuff translate in the Windy City?  The Sox launching pad park would be a concern for me.

The Angels on the other hand have just 1 solid starter in Hector Santiago at this point. Injuries have ravaged the Angels with Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards with UCL injuries, Tyler Skaggs rehabbing a UCL injury, and CJ Wilson’s shoulder acting up.  Nick Tropeano and Matt Shoemaker have been knocked around and Jered Weaver’s continued velocity drop is just plain sad.  The Angels are only 5 games back in the division and could use Lincecum the most.

Lincecum’s decision should be coming sooner rather than later. An incentive laden 1-year prove-it deal is more than likely what would be offered. A GM that offers him a multi-year deal should have his head examined. A minor league assignment is in order before Lincecum can help a Major League club. Lincecum is reaching the S*&^ or get off the pot time.

Fantasy owners have been off the pot for 4 years, but should pay attention to where he signs and how things go. Pitching is so unpredictable it’s not out the realm of possibility that “Big Time Timmy Jim” returns.

Is Felix Still King?

Felix Hernandez had a rough outing in his most recent start vs. the Athletics.  The Mariners ended up winning the game 9-8, but King Felix was knocked around (4 IP 9 H 8 R 4 ER 1 K).  2 errors including one by Hernandez didn’t help matters.  Hernandez in 6 starts is 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA, 1.25 WHIP with a 29:18 K:BB. Command has been a problem with a 5 and a 6 walk performance already this season.  Finishing off hitters with a wipe away close out pitch has escaped the 6-time All-Star so far as well.  Analysts point to 2 miles per-hour of lost velocity on his fastball and the game plan of pitching backwards by featuring more of his off-speed pitches.  2,299 career innings is a lot of mileage and there’s only so many throws in an arm.  As stuff diminishes so does the margin for error.

Breaking down his performances this year, Hernandez has faced the Rangers, A’s twice, Yankees, Angels, and Royals. Familiarity makes divisional opponents tough.  King Felix owns a career 2.58 ERA vs. the A’s, 3.31 ERA against the Angels, and 3.72 ERA vs. the Rangers.  Oakland is the opponent where King Felix has had his best success 11-3 in Oakland and 22-8 in his career.

As a King Felix fantasy owner, I am not ready to hit the panic button. The results for Hernandez now don’t match the results of his prime.  Last season, Hernandez went 18-9 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.  Not King Felix-like ratios but still solid numbers. The sky is not falling for a pitcher with a 2.21 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 6 starts.  I would anticipate King Felix turning things around pretty soon.  The 2010 AL Cy Young winner has been a pitcher instead of a thrower for his major league career.  I expect King Felix to make the adjustment and in 30-plus starts the numbers should be there.

Fantasy owners that have King Felix should hold pat unless a solid offer is on the table.
Selling short would be a big mistake as better days should be ahead. I own Hernandez in 1 of my 5 leagues, but will try to buy him for 50 cents on the dollar.