M!KEDROPSPORTS Daily Mornings – deGROMINATION

JACOB DEGROMINATION

It’s over and it’s not debatable. Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom will win the National League Cy Young award. He won his first start on Wednesday, improving his record to 10-9. While 10 wins is still the lowest for a winner ever, he at least sheds the distinction of single digit wins or a losing record, which seemed likely a few weeks ago. The record doesn’t matter, because had the Mets scored 2 runs in more in every game he would have 20 wins. deGrom finishes with a 1.70 ERA and 169 strikeouts. In a season where meaningless baseball has been the case since May, the Mets have one thing to hang their hat on during this disastrous season.

JIMMY BUTLER WATCH CONTINUES

Jimmy Butler remains excused from Timberwolves camp while the team sorts outs its options in an attempt to trade him, which is seeming more and more likely. Reports yesterday indicated that the Miami Heat have emerged as a front runner. Here’s a few thoughts on a potential Heat/Wolves trade

  • This won’t dramatically affect the landscape of the NBA – Wolves are trending down with our without Butler and with the possibility that the Lakers and Nuggets climb from the lottery to the playoffs, two teams will need to get bumped. That will include the Wolves
  • From the Heat’s standpoint, while I love the trade for them, all this does for me if assure their place in the top 8. This won’t elevate them to a top 4 team. Wolves finished 8th last year. Butler hasn’t been on a team higher than the 8 seed since 2015 in Chicago. Celtics, Sixers, Raptors entrenched as top three and Pacers, Wizards, Bucks will all battle for that top 4 spot. Butler-Wade is a nice combo, but they still have to solve their Hassan Whiteside problem from last year.
  • Please, please Timberwolves – include James Johnson in the trade. Johnson played for the Bulls from 2009-2011, which means he fits the TimberBULLS mantra in Minnesota, as a former Thibedeau player and teammate of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson.
  • On a more serious note, assuming the Heat have to move a young asset they should push to include Justice Winslow over Josh Richardson. Winslow is eligible for a rookie scale extension, while Richardson signed a very affordable 4 year, $42 million contract last year.

This situation really needs to be resolved asap so everyone can move on with their preparations.

RANDOM PLAYER BIO OF THE DAY

Marc Bulger was a 6th round draft pick in 2000 out of West Virginia, to the New Orleans Saints. It wasn’t until 2002, that he saw his first live game action. The Rams went 6-0 in Bulger’s starts in 2002, but he only saw action because of an injury to Kurt Warner. Entering 2003, the Rams remained committed to Warner, until week 1 when he committed five turnovers and was concussed (ironically this happened against the Giants, a team he would later join in his career).

Bulger replaced him and never looked back. Despite Warner’s incredible success with the Rams, including a Super Bowl win in 2000, the team was committed to moving on to Bulger. Bulger did not disappoint, leading the Rams to a 12-4 record in 2003 but losing in the NFC championship game to the Panthers. In 2004, Warner was gone, Bulger was given a big contract and the team was fully his. The Rams went 8-8 in 2004, making the playoffs again, this time as a wild card team, beating the Seahawks round one, but losing to the Falcons the week after. Incredibly, the next time the Rams would make the playoffs would be as the LA Rams in 2017 with Jared Goff under center.

Burger started 95 games from 2002-2009 in St. Louis and finished his career with 122 TDs and 93 INT. He made the Pro Bowl in 2003 and 2006

QUOTE OF THE DAY

This is from Tuesday night – Matt Harvey said he was open to just about anything in free agency, but… “There’s only one team out there I would not sign with, that’s about it.”

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TONIGHT

  • Rams vs Vikings in a battle of the two best teams in the NFC. For those of you without cable, you can enjoy streaming this game on Amazon Prime
  • In college, UNC travels to Miami. Tar Heels are terrible, despite winning their first game last week. Miami has cruised since an opening week loss to LSU but have been relatively untested (and will remain that way). The biggest thing to watch is if Malik Rosier gets pulled and we finally get to see exciting freshman QB N’Kosi Perry

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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