Would the real Dallas Mavericks please stand up?
I’m trying to figure out which Dallas Mavericks team is the real one. The one that knocked off both the Portland Trailblazers and Indiana Pacers or the one that just got hit with a 23-point loss to the Golden State Warriors?
As much as I want to believe this team can make some noise in the playoffs, if they keep showing up, or not showing up as the case may be, their playoff run might be short lived. There’s no question this team needs more of Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, but these two guys can’t carry the team themselves. They’re going to have to get help from guys like Vince Carter and Shawn Marion, who went scoreless in his 26 minutes against the Warriors, if they have any hope at all of being that annoying gnat in the ear of the top teams in the Western Conference.
The DeMarcus Ware conundrum
I know cutting DeMarcus Ware, and saving themselves just over $7 million in cap space, was the only decision the Dallas Cowboys had but I can’t help but wonder if Jerry Jones put himself in this position – again.
Would they be in this spot, standing and watching as Number 94 walks out the door, out of Texas, and possibly into the waiting arms of the Denver Broncos, had Jones and his staff not back loaded so much of Ware’s deal? Would they even had to have the conversation late Tuesday afternoon, asking him to take a pay cut, something Ware was never going to do, just to save themselves a little face?
Not only is Ware out the door, but Jason Hatcher is meeting with five different teams, one of which is the Seattle Seahawks, as if they need to get any better than they already are, and wide receiver Miles Austin, after being the next big thing a few years ago, is packing up and leaving Dallas after a lackluster 2013 campaign.
I heard a certain radio personality say, “Jerry Jones is finally waving the white flag with this core group.” Not sure he’s waving anything at this point. We’ll see what Jones really is when draft day comes around because if the same decisions are made as they have been in previous years, then we can’t say that anything has changed. In all likelihood, nothing will have changed about the guy at the top.
Let the Texas Rangers debate begin
During the AT&T Cotton Bowl this past January, I got a chance to talk to Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the game and about his addition to CBS Radio in Dallas. During New School, heard every day from 5:30am to 10am, on Tuesday morning Mac told a story about talking to two different scouts during his time in Surprise, Arizona. Apparently, he asked both of these scouts what they thought about the 2014 Texas Rangers and what I heard next surprised me.
“Both of these guys told me [the Rangers] would be lucky to win 80 games.” The scouts admitted this team will score runs, especially with the addition of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, but they pointed at the pitching staff and had major concerns going forward.
They weren’t wrong – at least not completely.
There’s no one who will tell you they aren’t concerned about the rotation, the bullpen, and the health of more than a few pitchers going into this season. If they do, they’re being a little more than naïve.
I will say there are a lot of ifs about a few pitchers in the rotation, namely Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis, but to say this team will be lucky to win 80 games, I just don’t think is accurate. I don’t want to disrespect a baseball scout that has been watching the game a lot longer than I have but it’s just an opinion of two guys.
Let’s allow the season to play itself out and see where things are when the smoke clears. How many surprises have there been around the league when the season starts to wind down and you look at the standings and say to yourself, “wow, I didn’t see that coming?”
In all fairness to Mac, he didn’t say those words; he was just relaying what he was told. It’s entirely up to the rest of us to debate whether those scouts were right or wrong.