Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy, former coach of Shaq and Dwight Howard, just signed a contract to be the Detroit Pistons’ coach  and president of basketball operations. So watch out because in five years, once SVG transforms Andre Drummond into the best center of his time, and creates a playoff team, a Pistons star will want him out, and get him cannedat least if everything goes according to every previous coaching job he has ever had.

The 500 Home Run Club

Albert Pujols hit his 499th and 500th home runs last night, putting him in the 500 home run club. Pujols is the only player to hit his 499th and 500th in the same game, and is the thirdyoungest player to hit 500. (A-Rod and Jimmie Foxx were younger.) Pujols now has the secondmost home runs among active players, behind only Mr. Steroids A-Rod. Adam Dunn (444 home runs), Jason Giambi (438 hrs), and David Ortiz (435 hrs) have the next most homers among active players. Dunn and Giambi, both far past their prime, will most likely never make the club, but Ortiz might. With maybe three years left in MLB, he could be the next inductee into the club. I believe that Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Cabrera will also both make it into the 500 home run club.

Home Run…Trot?

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox took 33.39 seconds to round the bases on April 9th after hitting a home run against the Rangers. Sports Illustrated clocked his time at 32.91, but upon further review, the time was actually 33.39. According to tatertrottracker.com, that is the slowest home-run trot since they starting recording them in 2010.

It is really no surprise the (maybe) 230-pound designated hitter took so long. Maybe instead of calling him Big Papi, they should call him Big U-Haul.

Mark Sanchez

According to multiple sources, former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanchez, 33-29 in four seasons as the Jets starting quarterback from 2009 to 2012, was released by his former team on Friday, just minutes before confirming that they signed former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Sanchez will arrive in Philadelphia as the back-up to 2013 quarterback sensation Nick Foles.

Why this is the right move: by guest blogger

Mark Sanchez is essentially the best backup quarterback the Eagles could’ve hoped for. While he may not have been the most talented quarterback in the class (that award would’ve gone to Michael Vick), nor the most reliable (Josh McCown), he is a solid NFL quarterback willing to accept his role as a backup and fight his way up from there.

In today’s NFL, it is becoming more and more important to have a good backup QB, and Sanchez has all of the right traits. Experience? You got it. He has started 62 games in the past five years. Competency? No problem. Sanchez is adequately accurate (much better than his career 55.1% completion would indicate) and does not hold the ball too long (looking at you Mike Vick). The bottom line is that Sanchez has the skills to help the Eagles survive if/when Foles goes down, and the Eagles couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Why this is the wrong move: by benspn.com owner, Ben D

This is undoubtedly the wrong move. The Eagles gave $2.25 million to a quarterback who hasn’t played in a year, but the last year he played he had a league-low 25.8 QBR. The only reason the Eagles signed Sanchez was because their coach, Chip Kelly, liked how Mark Sanchez played in college at The University of Southern California (USC). Sanchez, who is perhaps most famous for running into his right guard’s butt on Thanksgiving Day, 2012, will probably not even start for the Eagles all season, and will leave for a different team in the offseason. He’ll probably stick around just long enough to ensure a QB controversy this preseason and anytime Nick Foles struggles, which the Eagles don’t need. (Mark Sanchez has already made news in the Eagles organization by publicly saying “I always want to be the starter.”).

The Eagles probably could have went for a potential starter, Josh McCown for just about $2.75 million more. McCown, in the eight games he played last year, had the highest total quarterback rating in the league, (yes, even higher than Peyton Manning who had a record-setting year), with a 85.1. That’s a 60-point QBR difference between McCown and Sanchez. The Eagles could have gotten a quarterback who had a 85.1 QBR last year for just $5 million a year. Now let me put that in perspective: Ben Roethlisberger had a 54.3 QBR last year, but got payed $11.6 million. Josh McCown had a 85.1 QBR last year, and signed with Tampa Bay for only $5 million, which the Eagles could have afforded. The Eagles made the wrong move, and for that they will suffer.

MLB Down Under

The MLB two game series that took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground (converted to a baseball field), just finished up. The series between division rivals the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, was considered more like exhibition than real baseball. The Dodgers almost considered leaving their top two pitchers in America. Some MLB players even tried out cricket before games.

Many players had strong words though for MLB management for sending them to Australia. Zack Greinke, the Dodgers second starter, did not make the trip (injured calf), and criticized the league for making them go Down Under. He said, “I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it. There just isn’t any excitement to it. I can’t think of one reason to be excited for it.”

Even though the players weren’t excited for the game, the front-offices for the teams were very happy. The teams, now back in America (with the Dodgers winning both games), get tons of rest. The rest may let the Dodgers best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw (and arguably the best pitcher in the league), who got a $215 million, 7-year deal, (that’s about 31 million a year for all you guys doing much more work for much less pay), start three of the first seven games of the Dodgers’ season.

That Time of Year

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time where the number 1, 2, and 3 seeds in the NCAA tournament play much lower ranked teams in the first round, and, just like every year people think that the high seeds who don’t win by 40 have absolutely no chance of winning it all, even if they are the best team in the country, Florida. Florida is the Number One team in the NCAA right now, yet they played a very close game against Albany, and now people everywhere are saying they cannot win the tournament.

The statistics website fivethirtyeight.com says that since Florida didn’t play well against Albany it sets them up for an early exit from the NCAA tournament. Every year this happens and there are always statisticians who forget that history repeats itself. So in one year when the experts say ‘No way,’ to a good team after a tough first-round game, don’t believe it for a second.

Baracketology

The President, Barack Obama, has picked Michigan State to win the NCAA tournament. Michigan State has the second-best odds to win it all, after Florida, ahead of Louisville, according to Vegas oddsmakers, and many ESPN analysts have picked the Spartans to win it as well. As usual, Barack Obama goes with the politically safe choice.