Random Sports Thoughts:

Steve O Speak

Vikings Lockup Childress:

Brad Childress signs an extension with the Vikings. My question is this…how much of this contract is owed to Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and Jared Allen? I mean Childress is a nice coach, but I have a hard time believing he’s elite. I think he’s done well in evaluating free agent/trade talent, but overall his draft track record is spotty (though Peterson and Percy Harvin do look nice). I mean his player evaluation does have to be questioned, since he legitimately believed that Tavaris Jackson is a NFL starting quarterback. Overall though the Vikings had to extend Childress, his team is 8-1 this season and is poised for a deep playoff run.

Dolphins Go For It On 4th and 3:

No this doesn’t vindicate Bill Belichick for his bonehead call last Sunday night! A few major differences between these situations, the Dolphins were on the Carolina 28, NOT THEIR OWN 28 yard line. The Dolphins also left only 39 seconds on the clock for the Panthers with no timeouts remaining, not two minutes and one timeout like the Patriots gave the Colts. And while the Dolphins could have tried a long 45 yard field goal to seal the game, if they had missed the kick they would have given Carolina the ball on the 35. I think Tony Sparano made the right call there, even though the Panthers did eventually get the ball in ‘hail mary’ range.

Lincecum Wins 2nd Cy Young Award:

Congrats to Tim Lincecum, unfortunate news for the San Francisco Giants since they will now have to sell the Golden Gate Bridge to afford to retain him. Lincecum enters this offseason as a Super-Two player, meaning that since he has played over two and a half years in the majors he is now eligible for arbitration, his first of four arbitration years. Usually when a player hits arbitration their salary jumps from league minimum ($400-450K) to somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5-$4.0 million for solid players. Good players might be in the $5 million range. Now exceptional players have been known to get larger amounts, ex. Ryan Howard won his Super-two case for $10 million (and that was two years ago). Lincecum now has won the Cy Young Award in each of his two full seasons, compiling a career record of 40-17 with a 2.90 ERA, and that’s with a shaky defense and a pretty bad offense behind him (offense doesn’t help the ERA, but if he was pitching for the Phillies, Yankees or Red Sox he’d have 20+ wins a year). Looking deeper into the numbers, Lincecum has lead the league in strikeouts, and strikeouts per 9 innings pitched each of the last two seasons. He led the league in FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 2008, and was just barely beaten out by Zack Greinke this season. Lincecum is flat out dominate and now the Giants will have to open up their check book to keep him in town long term. What will it cost? Well the Phillies are going to end up paying Howard $64 million over his 4 arb. years (they signed a guaranteed contract last season), so I think that is at least the starting point. I say its going to cost at least $70 million to lock up Lincecum over the same time frame. As good as Howard is, the Giants would never trade Lincecum straight up for him. He’s a great power hitter, with just good on base skills at a prime power position. Howard is only average defensively, at the least important defensive position on the diamond. Lincecum by comparison is an elite pitcher who has dominated the league every fifth day for over two years now. If the Giants want to go to arbitration each year (and they will lose) they will probably pay out nearly $80 million plus if Lincecum doesn’t get injured, they have to sign an extension in my eyes. That $70 million sounds like a huge figure (and it is), but it ends up being a $17.5 million average, aka Barry Zito money (boy does that hurt).

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