Thursday Thoughts: A hit record by any other name…

Got to side with Pete Rose here and say it is totally absurd to pretend Ichiro Suzuki matched in any meaningful way what Rose did in recording his 4,256th “professional” hit.

And apparently Ichiro agrees, too.

”I don’t think you can compare,” Ichiro said through his interpreter. “Obviously, it’s a combined record. So I always just say, ‘What people think about that record, if they recognize it, I’ll be happy.’ But obviously, 3,000, it’s a no-doubter. Obviously, it’s a record here. So that is a goal I want to achieve.”

And yet somehow an entire story is written around this quote that, well, you know, contradicts the entire premise of the story. Excellent news judgement there.

Is it worth mentioning Ichiro hit that combined mark? Sure. Teams put all kinds of innocuous stats that ultimately mean nothing in their postgame notes. IMG_1121.jpg

But then It’s up to folks in the media to then figure out what is worthy of actually promoting, and this doesn’t pass the test.

Should the Japanese star be praised for his talent and longevity? Absolutely. To suggest it has anything to do with “matching” Rose is frankly dumb.

As Rose says, no one feels the level of baseball here and there is close to equal, and that’s really all that matters.

We might as well credit Rose for the hits he got in the minor leagues if we’re going down this path…

In other news: 

Good read from Dan Wetzel about how LeBron James might be able to redefine his career by leading the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals because he is in the odd circumstance (for him) of being an underdog.

I touched on this last year, that perhaps he could change the narrative by leading a wounded Cleveland team to a title after going only 2 for 4 with a team built to be too talented to fail. That didn’t happen, but I figured with everyone healthy the Cavs would roll through the rest of the league this year.

That didn’t happen, either. Not only have the Cavaliers not quite come together as expected despite having all-stars at three positions, a young talent like Tristan Thompson and some glue guys who had been through the Finals, but the Warriors went and got better last offseason.

Admittedly, LeBron is held to a very high standard, but it’s pretty much all of his doing (as Wetzel points out). 

At the same time, we should all do a better job of appreciating the amazing things he is able to do on a basketball floor.

After Kyrie Irving showed exactly why he was viewed as one third of LeBron’s new “Big 3” in Cleveland, it will be interesting to see what version of each team shows up in Cleveland tonight.

It’s fair to expect big things from Irving most nights, but he probably won’t shoot 70 percent from the floor again.

James took 30 shots in Game 5 but never seemed to get outside of what the Cavs were doing as a team. He wasn’t quite physically imposing his will as I thought he would need to in order to carry Cleveland, but his jumper was falling all night. Will that be the case again? I guess it’s nice to have the option of overpowering people on the way to the rim if needed. 

That’s why they play the games, but aside from those two being magnificent, the Cavs’ winning effort was helped by Draymond Green’s absence and another “blah” game from Steph Curry, who is shooting 42.4 percent from the field in the Finals after making a hair over half his shots during his MVP regular season.

Irving and James are shooting 48.7 and 49.6 percent, respectively…

Not surprisingly, the Ohio State player thought for more than a year to be the Buckeyes’ most pro-ready receiver has caught on quickly with Drew Brees in New Orleans…

A Reds prospect pitched a no-hitter in High A ball earlier this week. Tyler Mahle was a seventh-round draft choice of the Reds three years ago. He was 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA last season in Dayton and is already 8-3 with a similar ERA this season in Daytona…

There are some of great (relatively) new beer options in southwest Ohio, but one about to make the move from the central region is worth checking out if you haven’t had it yet — Four Strings Brewing.

One of the first Columbus local brewers I remember discovering, they still rank among the best as far as I’m concerned. I’m a big fan of the Suncaster Summer Wheat Ale, Big Star White IPA and the Payback Pislner. The Brass Knuckle pale ale is also a solid choice…

In sports outside Ohio news, I was dismayed to read yesterday a rumored deal had come to fruition as the Chicago Blackhawks trades not only dead-weight Brian Bickell to the Carolina Hurricanes but had to include exciting young forward Teuvo Teravainen to do it.

I have to echo the Blackhawks SBNation blog in saying the loss of Teravainen is troubling as it comes after they also traded away several other young players in the past year or so in an effort to either stay under the salary cap or to load up for the playoffs.

I know you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelette, but this is not the way I had envisioned the Hawks trying to beat the cap and Father Time. It’s more like the opposite.

Maybe it’s just that hard to move contracts like Bickell’s and Patrick Sharp’s, but my hope going through this period would be they would take the Cup-winning core and supplement it with cheap, young players to extend the run as long as possible. Trading Brandon Saad was unavoidable, and they got back a very useful player in Artem Anisimov, but if they jettisoned Teravainen to be able to afford a grit guy like Andrew Shaw, I’m failing to see the wisdom. There are lots of grit guys out there but not so many forwards with TT’s skills — particularly forwards who have already proven they have what it takes to stick in the NHL and even contribute to a deep playoff run.

Of course they needed to do more than stand pat after going out in the first round last year, so maybe this was the only way to make room for a defenseman. A strong blue-liner AND Shaw would be a solid tradeoff for giving up Teravainen, but only time will tell how that plays out…

Leave a Reply