Feature: Brother Banter – Round 1

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By: Adam and Rossy Pasternak 

SportsNak brings you a new weekly feature entitled, “Brother Banter”. This feature will include debate between two strongly opinionated sports fans, who happen to be brothers. Many topics will be argued and feelings might get hurt, but that’s what being a brother is all about…right?

Adam: What about those Royals? That comeback was pretty crazy. There was no way they weren’t going to put up a fight. In 3 out of their 4 wins, they were actually down in the 8th inning and had to come back to win. They were just too much for the inexperienced Mets. The Royals bullpen was phenomenal all postseason as well. What a playoffs for them!

Rossy: But what about that start by Matt Harvey. Unfortunately, it was ruined by a bad 9th inning, and the loss in extras, but through 8+, Harvey was outstanding, allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits, with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. Harvey kept his team in the lead up until the 9th, and Terry Collins made the right decision sticking with him to start the 9th. Collins said he blames himself for the collapse in the 9th, saying “I let my heart get in the way of my gut” when making the call to keep Harvey in. Despite Collins second guessing his decision, I personally agree with it. You go with the guy that has gotten you so far, and you live with the consequences.

Adam: I think it was selfish on Harvey’s part to be honest. What Collins said really doesn’t defend the decision, he is just being a good guy and taking the blame. If his gut was to take Harvey out, then he should have taken him out. Harvey’s a great pitcher, but he’s still young and coming off Tommy John. In my opinion, he has to take a step back and just let the manager manage. Maybe that’s just me.

Rossy: I agree that the manager should go with his gut, that is why the man gets paid. But the pitcher gets paid to go out there and pitch, not sit and watch someone else finish the job. Its also unfair that people were calling Harvey selfish because he wanted to conserve himself for the playoffs and not pitch, with people saying that he was not committed enough to the team. Does this situation prove that Harvey was committed to the team above all else? I think it does. Harvey was willing to put his health on the line, and was willing to take the blame if things went south. I commend Harvey for wanting to control his own destiny, and I blame Collins for letting his heart get in the way of his decision, even though I personally think it was the right call – but I don’t get paid to make those decisions. As with Ryan Goins in game 2 of the ALCS, Collins manned up to his mistake, and took the blame. Good for him.

Adam: Managers are always going to take heat for their players, it’s just what they do. Collins isn’t any different. I don’t think it really mattered anyway because the Royals were always going to win this series. There was no way that group of guys were going to settle for another World Series loss. It was a short series, but the games were actually all entertaining, despite their final scores. Congrats to Salvy on the MVP, it’s well deserved. But you know what isn’t well deserved? Jeremy Lamb’s 3 year, $21 million extension that he signed today with Charlotte. He’s barely gotten minutes in his young career and really doesn’t deserve to be making $7 million per season. He’s an unproven, raw, 3-and-D type player and I really think the Hornets rushed this one. What is your view on this?

Rossy: Good point, well deserved on Sal Perez, the guy takes a beating every day, and still comes to the ballpark with a positive attitude and is always ready to work. On the Jeremy Lamb front, with todays salary cap, and the expected spike coming in the next two years, $7 million for a guy who can shoot the three, and has a chance to become an excellent defender, is a good value contract for Charlotte. The Hornets struggle at bringing in big-name free agents, with the exception of the great Lance Stephenson, and Big Al, so retaining one of their young guys at a price that will look tiny by the time the contract is up is not a horrible move. I’m not too sure what type of player Lamb will end up becoming, but I’d rather pay him $7 million now than risk him having a breakout year and demanding much more in restricted free agency.

Adam: It just seems like nothing they do ever works in Charlotte. I picked Kemba this year so they better figure it out!

Rossy: When I think of the Hornets, I think of Michael Jordan. Jordan was, in my opinion, the best who ever played the game of basketball. I think that Kobe Bryant is up there with him. Recently, Kobe said “I am the 200th best player in the NBA. I freeking stink.” This is sad for me, one of the best that has every played is at the twilight of his career, and he finally knows it.

Adam: I loved Kobe during the three years he made the finals against the Celtics twice, and the Magic once. Those were my early days of watching ball and Kobe made that experience so much better. He was amazing and I do like him a lot, but I think that LeBron will actually have the better career when it’s all said and done. With the way LeBron takes care of his body and just the type of athlete that he is, he will be able to last longer and therefor produce better numbers for more years than Kobe. You never know though, injuries do happen, but I think LeBron’s body is just in too good of shape to let anything major happen to him.

Rossy: I think that LeBron’s prime is actually already over. As seen last year, his body is already starting to fail him, first with the two week hiatus to Miami in the midst of a losing streak, and then in the finals, where he seemed worn down after the first couple of games. If we’re talking about the next Kobe here, in terms of dominance and effect on the game, then I think we have yet to find the next Kobe. Maybe James Harden is that guy, maybe its Steph Curry, maybe Westbrook or Durant, or maybe I’m wrong, and it is King James. All I know right now is that it is too early in all of these players careers, with the exception of James, to say that they are among the leagues historic elite.

Adam: To be fair though, LeBron was carrying a whole team by himself in The Finals. In my opinion it actually made me like him more. He almost single handily won them a ring. But you’re right, there are just so many great players right now it will be really interesting to see who’s names we would be talking about 10-15 years down the road. Would Michael still be considered the best player ever? Maybe there is a 12 year old kid right now who later on we could be talking about as the best player to play the game. In the past, there weren’t as many “great” players in the league all at once. There are truly many special players and it makes the game fun to watch.

Rossy: For once, we agree on something. The game of basketball is so exciting to watch these days because of the amazing quality of play. Every team, even the lowly 76ers, have quality players who play with flash, determination, and have an immense amount of talent… well, maybe not the Sixers, but everyone else. The same thing cannot be said for football. The NFL this year is on a downswing. Everyone is getting injured, and the players who are healthy are mostly failing expectations. I know that pretty much all of my fantasy team have either been injured, or are under-performing. Of course, there will always be exciting games every season, such as the 52-49 game this week between the Saints and the Giants. And what a game that was, with the quarterbacks combining to throw 13 touchdowns (Brees tying a record with 7 in the game), and both offences combining for over 1000 offensive yards.

Adam: Unfortunately for me, I am losing my matchup so far because I played the one guy who has Brees. Go figure. I even had Gurley and Odell who had big games, but Rogers really underperformed for me. The NFL is very interesting this year. The Colts aren’t doing well, the Chargers keep on losing, and the Raiders are looking like a team on the rise. There are many new exciting young players who are breaking out this year, like the Vikings Stefon Diggs. He’s been unreal, and it’s happened completely out of nowhere. This is the best time for sports in general, as most sports are all happening right now (MLB just ended yesterday). My dinner is currently burning in the oven, so I have to go. We’ll be back to debate more topics in sports next week.

What do you think of todays Brother Banter? Do you agree with Adam, or Rossy, or do you have a different opinion? Comment below!

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