Hot! Triple Play: Mike Woodson, Cris Carter, David Robertson

Mr. 300 has a lot to say….so much in fact that a title of Mr.300 is no longer appropriate. Points will still be made succinctly (well, within reason), but to guarantee points being made in 100 words or less is no longer feasible.

From this day forth, the segment that was once Mr. 300 will now be Nick Kostopoulos’ Triple Play.

Mike Woodson, Should He Stay or Should He Go?

The 2012 season has come to an end following Wednesday night’s loss to the Miami Heat and now the Knicks have personnel decisions to make. No decision looms larger than filling the head coaching vacancy. Interim coach Mike Woodson did an outstanding job filling in following the “resignation” of coach Mike D’Antoni, and I would feel comfortable committing to him as the man to coach the Knicks big three (Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler). His 18-6 regular season record with the Knicks was impressive, but Woodson should not take any heat (pun intended) for losing in 5 games to Miami. The Knicks were plagued with too many injuries to key players to be considered a real threat to the Heat and that shouldn’t be held against Woodson. Phil Jackson and Tom Thibodeau will be the two big names thrown out there for Knicks consideration, but is Phil Jackson really going to come out of retirement? Jackson has nothing left to prove and the Knicks are far from a sure thing to win a title. Tom Thibodeau has had a successful run with the Chicago Bulls, but besides doubts that he can handle the New York media, the idea of him leaving Derrick Rose and the 1st seeded Bulls to coach the 7th seeded Knicks is farfetched in and of itself. Mike Woodson preaches defense, and the offense thrives on isolation, so to me it’s a perfect match. If the Knicks can keep Woodson and pursue an established point guard such as Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns to run the offense, the team will be good to go.

Cris Carter, the Modern Day Bobba Fett?

Former Minnesota Vikings WR Cris Carter admitted to having a history with player bounties. His intention was never to pay players to be hurt, but to instead pay players to protect him. Carter claims that former Denver Bronco and Oakland Raider LB Bill Romanowski walked up to Carter before games and threatened to end his career. A WR’s responsibility is to catch the football at all costs. At times, this can leave a receiver vulnerable to hard hits. Carter therefore paid teammates to rough up defensive players that Carter felt threatened by. I don’t feel it’s fair to compare Carter’s actions to what Gregg Williams practiced with the Saints, however, what this does show is that as awful as bounty-gate was, the Saints are not the only team that practices this type of system. Paying players to inflict pain on others is both wrong and stupid. Football is a violent; pain and injuries are a huge part of the game. To be caught paying thousands of dollars to purposely injure another player is unacceptable. It’s not the physical aspect of bounties that is wrong as much as the maliciousness that comes with essentially running a business of inflicting harm on others. A player can command respect with hard hits on the field, but only commands criticism and shame when associated with bounties.

No Mo? Don’t Go Ro, Go So

Without question, David Robertson has been a more dominant reliever than Rafael Soriano in the past two seasons. Despite this, I feel that Rafael Soriano is the right choice to become the Yankees new closer. What the casual fan may fail to realize is that what makes Mariano Rivera so special isn’t just his mastery of the cutter, but his mastery of the mental make up that comes with being the 9th inning pitcher. Soriano has electric stuff, but at times last year he looked like a lost puppy being demoted to a 7th inning role. Throw Soriano back into the 9th inning role, where the Yankees were envisioning him when he was signed to a lucrative three year contract and you may see the rebirth of an All-Star caliber closer. The last time Soriano was a closer was in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays. That team went to the World Series, Soriano was an All-Star, lead the league with 45 saves, posted a .82 WHIP, a 1.73 ERA and finished 8th in Cy young Voting. Soriano’s arsenal of strikeout pitches and his passion to thrive under pressure make him the right choice to close for now. Robertson may be the closer of the future. I don’t feel he should be set up for present day failure. Robertson has mastered the 8th inning so I say leave him there for now.


Nicholas Kostopoulos

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