Monday Night Notes

The Bulls seem determined to make a truly bizarre coaching choice. The latest man to  rise to the top of the pile is Vinny Del Negro. His biggest asset in the search is that he isn’t Doug Collins.  You probably remember Del Negro from his days  as a somewhat average player who bounced around five NBA teams and a couple in Europe for good measure. He had a good college career at NC State under Jim Valvano, and he comes from a basketball family – his dad played for Adolph Rupp at Kentucky. There’s just one problem with an otherwise solid coaching resume – he’s never coached at any level before. Hmmm. He was a broadcaster for a while after he retired before joining the front office of the Suns, peaking at assistant general manager. I’m sure he’s a good guy, and he obviously gave one heck of an interview, but it seems odd that a team with so much on the line (a solid roster, the number one pick, etc.) would give the keys to a guy who has never driven. It’s also a relatively unique-to-basketball thing. The NBA seems much more likely to give a job to an unproven guy than any other league. In the NHL you have to cut your teeth in the minors or as an assistant (unless you are Wayne Gretzky, and Del Negro is no Gretzky). You have to put in your time in baseball, too. The NFL wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t an established assistant or a college coach.  This would be like the Raiders firing Lane Kiffin and hiring Scott Pioli to take his place. Doesn’t make much sense, but I wish the Bulls well. At least I will be able to find something else to be fascinated by once they make this hiring official.

Speaking of Chicago sports, Cedric Benson finally got what was coming to him from the Bears.He was cut loose today. The reason given was that he was arrested a second time and generally had a bad attitude. The real reason, though, is that he sucks at football. There has been much discussion online today over what impact this will have on the team (and by extension how it will affect the decisions bettors have to make about the team). The answer, of course, is not very much. Matt Forte can be at least as good as Benson is, and he’s likely much less trouble, too. I still haven’t decided quite how I feel about the Bears this year, but this change won’t make me think any less of them.

The Mets are two games under .500 and they just got swept by the Padres. They were favored in all four games. If you had flat bet every game all season you’d be down almost 10 units. I don’t even know how to count the ways in which that all doesn’t make any sense. If I owned the Mets I think I’d fold them.

LSU needed a win over UC-Irvine tonight to make it to the College World Series. The bad news is that the Tigers allowed seven runs to raise a few questions about the defense. The good news is that they countered that by scoring 21. No need to worry about the offense as they head to Omaha. We’ll take a look for betting opportunities in this tournament later in the week.

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