Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quick Hits - 12/29/11

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 American midfielder Freddy Adu is headed to Spain to train with Rayo Vallecano for the next 12 days with an opportunity to join the club if he performs. The 22 year old who resurrected his career with a solid showing at this year's Gold Cup signed a contract with the Philadelphia Union midseason and netted a pair of goals and had an assist in eleven matches. Still, he went unprotected in last month's expansion draft leaving questions regarding his future with the Union. This is a great opportunity for Adu, and hopefully he's able to catch on with Rayo. Currently in 16th place in La Liga, Rayo (4-8-4) could use some more playmakers on offense so Adu may be a good fit.


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Ex-Milwaukee Buck Michael Redd has just signed a one year deal worth $1.3M with the Phoenix Suns. Injuries have limited Redd to just 61 games over the past 3 seasons, but the Suns are hopeful that he can stay healthy and reestablish himself as a proven scorer. Now 32 years old, Redd averaged nearly 24 points a game during a 5 year stretch between 2003 and 2008 while with the Bucks. A key contributor on the U.S.'s 2008 Olympic Gold Medal Winning Squad, Redd is a career 38.3% shooter from 3-point range and with Steve Nash running the point in Phoenix he should get his share of open looks if he can stay on the court. There is no timetable in place just yet for Redd's insertion into the lineup, but I like the move.

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It appears that Boston's finally found their closer for next season. The Red Sox sent a package of players to Oakland for 2-time all star and 2009 Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey. Bailey has a 2.07 ERA in 157 career appearances and has averaged 25 saves a year in each of his first three seasons with the A's. Bailey is certainly an upgrade over recently acquired Mark Melancon allowing the former Astro to fill one of the setup roles in Boston's bullpen which he is better suited for. The move doesn't come without risks for the Sox though as Bailey does have a history of injuries having spent time on the DL in each of the last two seasons. There's also the question of whether or not he can handle the pressure of closing in Fenway. Boston also gets outfielder Ryan Sweeney in the deal, while Oakland gets Josh Reddick as well as minor leaguers Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. With Oakland losing outfielders David DeJesus and Josh Willingham this offseason and Coco Crisp expected to follow them out of town, the 24 year old Reddick will jump right into the lineup. The other two are still a ways away from contributing at the big league level. Head just wrapped up a season in A Ball where he hit .299 with 22 homers while Alcantara, just 19 years old, made 13 starts and posted a 2.20 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings in just his second professional season. 


Remember a few years back with Boise State famously went for two instead of kicking the extra point to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? It was a gutsy move and it paid off in one of the most memorable bowl games in college football history. But here's the thing about that move. It made sense for Boise State, because Oklahoma was the better team, and it's unlikely they would have been able to keep pace with their offense. It is certainly not the percentage play most of the time.

Yesterday, Air Force found themselves in a similar situation. Down 42-41, extra point pending, and they decided to go for two. It didn't work out and Toledo won the Military Bowl as a result. Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun wasn't about to second guess himself after the game, but I am. The only time that play-call makes sense is if you think that's your best chance to win the game. I don't feel like this was the case last night and ultimately it cost Air Force the game. Gutsy call? Absolutely. Prudent? Not so much.

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Kevin Love isn't the only guy in the NBA who can rack up ridiculous amounts of rebounds. Dwight Howard pulled down 24 rebounds in Orlando's 94-78 win over the Magic tonight. It marked the 49th time in Howard's career that he'd pulled down at least 20 rebounds in a game. Now if he could just learn how to shoot free throws. Two for nine tonight. Not good, Dwight. Not good.

1 comment:

  1. I watched that portion of the Air Force game. Honestly I would have made the same call. Gutsy but the way Air Force had been playing I think there was a reasonable expectation of success. Not to mention the way Toledo had been playing should they have won the toss they could hav put points on the board and closed it that way. It could have gone either way regardless of the call.