Nolan Ryan and the Six-Man Rotation

Nolan Ryan and the Six-Man Rotation

March 9, 2010

Ive loved Nolan Ryan for a variety of reasons over the past 25 years, first awed by his dominance, then wowed by his work ethic, and now thankful for his role in trying to reverse a not-so-recent trend in baseball that must make the big, tough Texan puke in his mouth a little every time he thinks about it.Nobodys sure exactly when it started or why it became so widespread, but for years and years now, strong and gifted young pitchers have been treated like Faberge eggs.Sitting across from me late last season, at a table in the press dining area at the Launching Pad in Arlington, the Ryan Express considered my question -- and yes, I fumbled it like a trembling 10-year-old boy hanging out with his idol -- about the concept of a six-man starting rotation and spat out his answer like an over-ripe wad of Redman Chew.Used to be people thought maybe four starters was too much, he said in his cooler-than-cool drawl after taking a pull on his iced tea. Now five aint enough? Its gettin kinda disgustin the way the game babies these kids.Couldnt agree more.
Most big-league throwing programs are now capped in terms of time (10-15 minutes) and distance (120-150 feet), when the best thing for an arms development is actually to throw more and longer. Like, out to 300 feet and until the arm gets tired.Pitch counts are so meticulously kept and adhered to these days that youd think any pitcher allowed to throw up to -- gasp! -- 110 pitches in a game is all but certain to explode right there on the mound upon delivery of No. 111.Its all based on money and fear, and its ridiculous -- as is the idea of a six-man rotation, which is nothing more than a cop-out.

For example, the As opened spring training last month with four starting pitchers assured of jobs -- Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden -- and three vying for the No. 5. spot.Among the candidates to fill the back end in Oakland -- Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Vin Mazzaro -- only Cahill, who made his debut at age 21 last year, has a full season of big-league experience. Mazzaro is 23, Gonzalez 24.These being the As, though, theyre already down one starter. Its what the As have done best over the past three years -- lose players to injury. Its Duchscherers turn again, having been felled by back issues 34 seconds into camp, and while he insists hell be ready for Opening Day, his manager begs to differ.And the GM is one of the managers best friends. Guess whos going to win that one?So now there are six As starters expected to be ready to roll in early April. One of them, Sheets, has a long recent injury history. Another, Braden, is coming off a season cut short by a foot injury. Two of them, Gonzalez and Mazzaro, have yet to pitch more than 98 innings in a big-league season. The other two, Anderson and Cahill, are 22 years old. Perfect team to go with a six-man rotation, right? Lighten the load. Ease the pressure.No, no and no.If you need your load lightened, you dont belong in the big leagues. Ditto the pressure thing. And remember, these are the As. Good chance another one of these guys is going to get hurt.Then what? Go back to a five-man and immediately change the routine of every starter, or dip into Triple-A for the River Cats top starter and change his routine?The answer is neither. But dont take my word for it. Take Nolan Ryans word for it, and one word is all he needed to encapsulate his thoughts on a six-man rotation.His eyes narrowed. A dismissive smirk spread across his ranch-weathered mug. He spoke.Candy-ass.-- Mychael UrbanWhat's on your mind? Email Mychaeland let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Warriors announce 2017 Summer League schedule, roster

Warriors announce 2017 Summer League schedule, roster

OAKLAND – The Golden State Warriors have announced the team’s roster and schedule for 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Warriors Assistant Coach/Player Development Chris DeMarco will serve as head coach of the team in Golden State’s 12th summer in Vegas, which tips off on Saturday, July 8.

Golden State’s Summer League roster is highlighted by current Warriors players Damian Jones, Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw, who helped the club capture its second NBA championship in three years and fifth in franchise history in 2016-17. The Warriors’ Summer League entry will also feature Jordan Bell, the 38th selection in last week’s NBA Draft, who was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season as a junior at Oregon. Additionally, Golden State’s squad includes Jabari Brown, Elgin Cook and Alex Hamilton, who were all members of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s NBA G League club, in 2016-17.

The Warriors, who won the inaugural Summer League title in 2013, own a 36-23 (.610) all-time record at NBA Summer League, the most wins in the history of the annual event. Teams will play three preliminary games between July 7-11 before being seeded in a tournament that begins on July 12 and concludes with the Championship Game on Monday, July 17. Each team will play a minimum of five games in Las Vegas.

Below is the Warriors’ 2017 NBA Summer League schedule and broadcast information for their three preliminary games in Las Vegas:

Saturday, July 8 vs Philadelphia 76ers -- 7:30pm PDT
Monday, July 10 vs Cleveland Cavaliers -- 5:30pm PDT (On NBC Sports Bay Area)
Tuesday, July 11 vs Minnesota Timberwolves -- 5:30pm PDT

Listed below is Golden State’s roster for 2017 NBA Summer League:

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2017 SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER*

 

NO

Player

POS

HT

WT

BORN

COLLEGE/FROM

LAST TEAM

NBA EXP.

12

Bryce Alford

G

6-3

185

1/18/95

UCLA/USA

UCLA

R

18

Noah Allen

G/F

6-7

215

2/1/95

Hawaii/USA

Hawaii

R

2

Jordan Bell

F

6-9

224

1/7/95

Oregon/USA

Oregon

R

25

Chris Boucher

F

6-10

200

1/11/93

Oregon/Canada

Oregon

R

32

Jabari Brown

G

6-4

215

12/18/92

Missouri/USA

Santa Cruz Warriors

1

8

Elgin Cook

F

6-6

206

1/15/93

Oregon/USA

Santa Cruz Warriors

R

10

Deividas Dulkys

G

6-5

196

3/21/88

Florida State/Lithuania

Obradoiro (Spain)

R

31

Dylan Ennis

G

6-2

195

12/26/91

Oregon/Canada

Oregon

R

33

Alex Hamilton

G

6-4

195

10/5/93

Louisiana Tech/USA

Santa Cruz Warriors

R

40

Justin Harper

F

6-10

225

8/30/89

Richmond/USA

Globalport (Philippines)

3

15

Damian Jones

C

7-0

245

6/30/95

Vanderbilt/USA

Golden State Warriors

1

5

Kevon Looney

F

6-9

220

2/6/96

UCLA/USA

Golden State Warriors

2

0

Patrick McCaw

G

6-7

185

10/25/95

UNLV/USA

Golden State Warriors

1

6

Xavier Munford

G

6-2

180

6/1/92

Rhode Island/USA

FC Barcelona (Spain)

1

7

Joe Rahon

G

6-2

195

10/1/93

St. Mary’s/USA

St. Mary’s

R

19

Tai Webster

G

6-4

195

5/29/95

Nebraska/New Zealand

Nebraska

R

55

Darrell Williams

F/C

6-8

245

9/15/89

Texas A&M-Commerce/USA

Bnei Herzliya (Israel)

R

4

JaCorey Williams

F

6-8

220

6/12/94

Middle Tennessee State/USA

Middle Tennessee State

R

 The Golden State Warriors media services provided this report.

Won't be easy for interested teams to pull off double jackpot with Iguodala

Won't be easy for interested teams to pull off double jackpot with Iguodala

Andre Iguodala is a wanted man, by the Warriors, who have spent four seasons benefitting from his presence, and also by a few teams around the NBA seeking to hit the double jackpot.

That is, adding Iguodala to their team while subtracting him from the Warriors.

Understand, though, it won’t be easy to pry Iguodala away -- even if seven teams, according to an ESPN report on Tuesday, plan to chase the veteran forward when he becomes a free agent this weekend.

And while Iguodala is as delighted as he is flattered by the interest, he has a clear vision of what he wants from himself, and it goes beyond the numbers on a contract. Remember, he chose to come to the Warriors in the summer of 2013 for $48 million over four years despite being offered more by other teams.

Though Iguodala, 33, might not be willing to make the same financial sacrifice, any team that recognizes the significance of such a move has to know straight cash alone won’t be enough to lure him -- unless it’s an offer that blows his mind.

Iguodala’s mind runs too deep to be easily blown, but a deal upward of $18 per year would create a considerable breeze. And, remember, the Warriors will have Iguodala’s Bird Rights the second Kevin Durant officially declines his option.

That would provide room for the team, should it choose, to push its financial offer.

Iguodala came to the Warriors to join an alluring team with growth potential, with a new-age ownership in a location that aligned with his personal plan for his future. All those factors remain in play.

If the dollars are equal, or close to equal, Iguodala almost certainly will be back. That he realizes the folly of taking the same to go elsewhere has been related to NBCSportsBayArea.com on several occasions in recent months.

“I know they appreciate me here,” he said last month.

It was Iguodala’s arrival that pushed the team to another level. He provided a superior wing defender, a leader on the court and in the locker room and was practically perfect as an offensive complement to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, while providing a tremendous boost to a defense then built around Andrew Bogut, with Draymond Green and Thompson still on the rise.

Considering the team’s accomplishments since then, and Iguodala’s role throughout, it has worked exceedingly well for both parties. Which is why the team has placed such a high value on him.

“It’s hard to quantify it, other than two world championships,” coach Steve Kerr said recently. “And I’m not sure we’d have any without him.

“I know we wouldn’t have won two years ago without him. And probably wouldn’t have won this year, either, just based on everything that he means to us as a backup point guard, as the primary defender on LeBron, as the guy who gets us organized, who keeps us sane at times when things are getting a little out of control.

“And then, of course, the example that he sets, coming off the bench, as an All-Star, as a Finals MVP, as an Olympian,” Kerr added. “For him to willingly come off the bench and accept that role, it sets a great tone for the rest of the guys. He mentors those young guys on the bench constantly, too, and that’s a big factor for us as well.”

Now there is no mistaking the Warriors drafted Pat McCaw last June with the hope he’ll someday be able to provide much of what Iguodala has given them. Iguodala sees this, even noting during the team’s championship celebration that the rookie will be his replacement.

It was a joke. Had to be, for that day has not yet arrived, and the Warriors know it.