Social media has made it so that we know everything about everyone. I get that. That’s old news.
But the new news is the whole subgenre of “let’s-know-everything” in fantasy sports. The illustrious Grey Albright has been lampooning the adventures of Salvador Perez and his grandmother for the entire baseball season.
Not to toot our own horn, but I gotta say Razzball is one of the lone fantasy sites that rises above this silliness.
Yahoo!, on the other hand, is one of the biggest offenders. This summer we learned that Prince Fielder might have been in a slump because he was divorcing his wife, and teammate Torii Hunter was quoted as a source to back this assessment up. Definitely fodder for a celebrity gossip site, most likely a feature on increasingly sensationalistic ESPN and arguably relevant for a normal sports site. But for fantasy purposes? Didn’t need to know that.
A classic from CBS Sports on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jay Rosehill:
“LW Jay Rosehill’s goal on Saturday was his first in the NHL, after a long climb as a minor league enforcer. Six years ago, he was picked 227th in the draft by Tampa. Right after the game, he received many text messages of congratulation from family and friends in Olds, Alberta, a town of 6,000 near Calgary, where his father is a livestock auctioneer.”
Not sure whether Rosehill’s ownership spiked after that note hit the Web, but I’m sure livestock bids went through the roof in Olds.
Injuries are worse. In late August, we learned that Jordan Walden tweaked his groin while jogging over the weekend. Thanks for sharing. Definitely TMI, but I guess the details could have been more sordid.
Because of Twitter, Facebook, etc., we know every injury of every player anywhere. That vast net even reaches to Poland, where Phoenix Suns Center Marcin Gortat injured his ankle while playing for the Polish national team.
The ankle was sprained in March, and since then there have been countless Tweets and reports of MRIs and return dates and descriptions of the pain he felt and tests and translated screen shots of Tweets. I mean, Gortat is an important member of the Suns who had a nice year last year, but really? Do we need that much information about a Prototypical European Center who piles up boards and blocks.
Well, actually, if you’re a fantasy freak, and you play fantasy hoops, the answer is yes, yes you do need to know the status of Marcin Gortat’s sprained ankle.
Marcin Gortat, not to be confused with Martin Gore (the Depeche Mode singer-guitarist comes up when you Google the big goofy hunk of honkey), had another great fantasy season for the sagging Suns.
The Polish Hammer snagged 8.5 boards to go along with 1.6 blocks, good enough to be a Nifty Nevitt on the official Boards-n-Blocks’ Brickter Scale. But those numbers are down from his 2011-2012 season, where he grabbed 10 rpg and swatted 1.5 bpg.
So factoring in the ankle and the Suns’ hideous new uniforms, how will Gortat look in 2013-2014?
Probably best to look to the end of the bench, where a new coaching staff has been installed. New head coach Jeff Hornacek returns to one of his original NBA stomping grounds, and he promises to get back to the up-tempo days when he was there and would fly up and down the court for Cotton Fitzsimmons with the likes of Tom Chambers, Larry Nance and Kevin Johnson (“fly” being a relative term, since the NBA player of the late-’80s had about a quarter of the athletic ability of today’s player).
Obviously, this is not good news for a 6-11, 240 pound slab of meat with a bum ankle.
But hold on now, because one of Hornacek’s assistants is Mike Longabardi, a defensive specialist from the Boston Celtics. Anyone who follows a team in the Atlantic Division knows all too well how brutal the Celts were to drive against and how extremely tough on the glass they could be during the Doc Rivers era. Heck, he even squeezed rebounds and blocks out of old fogies like Jermaine O’Neal and Kevin Garnett.
So despite the fact that the guy’s name is Longabardi, this is good news for Gortat.
Taking all of this into account, I see Gortat getting back to his 2012-2013 form. Alvin Gentry’s regime was a mess (big surprise!) and I’m thinking Hornacek has played for enough good coaches (Fitzsimmons, Jerry Sloan) and bad coaches (Doug Moe, Fred Carter) to know how to put it all together.
That’s if, of course, Gortat doesn’t injure his still-healing ankle by slipping on a puddle created by Blake Griffin while spanking it in a peep show establishment.