Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jurgen Klinsmann's comments, and Yoenis Cepedes' throw-the big picture problems

Jurgen Klinsmann is right, and he is handling it right. The only problem with him and the media is that he isn't American. But, he knows America and the American sports better than Americans do. The coaches that promise the world and come out with loud proclamations set the team, and themselves, up for failure.

Look, if the Americans get out of the group, that will be a heck of an accomplishment. Klinsmann has referenced this as an attainable goal. But let's be serious, a team who's captain consists of a journeyman that couldn't cut it with newly relegated premier league joke Fulham, really doesn't possess the talent to beat the best teams in the world.

The problem here is that Americans fire coaches who speak big and don't accomplish what their words proclaim. Frank Vogel led the Indiana Pacers to the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference and was on the hotseat before the playoffs started. Can anyone explain the rationale in this? Oh, and Lebron James and the heat are in the Eastern Conference.

I remember the days when Joe Torre was on the hotseat with the New York Yankees. He won the division every year from 1996-2007 and forced out the door. He won 4 World Series with the Yankees. Still, he was offered a cut in pay and was more-or-less removed from his duties.

Klinsmann is keeping his job safe, and trying not to let down American fans. I can just see the media frenzy that would ensue after he said he had expectations of winning the World Cup and his team goes 0-3 in the group stage to 3 better teams. His neck would be in a noose.

Americans need to relax and realize that their best athletes play football, baseball and basketball. They don't play soccer. Therefore, their team isn't that good. Ya ya ya, we bleed red, white and blue. How dare you say we won't win the World Cup? Well, Klinsmann isn't American. Neither is half the team. And you can still be patriotic while being realistic- this is something many Americans can benefit from, in many facets of American life, media and politics.

And a quick note on Yoenis Cespedes throw at the plate. This is the problem with American sports and how these athletes are portrayed (Yasiel Puig comes to mind in this situation.) The guy made an error. The routine hop base hit bounced off of his glove. He made a once-in-a-lifetime throw, no doubt about it. The throw was incredible. I can watch it 100 times and be amazed. But it was set up by a fielding mistake that everyone seems to overlook. This is why fundamentals aren't cool. This is why the guy that bats .400 in junior league ball are regarded as awesome players but have two fielding errors a game in right field.

Howie Kendrick would have been on third base and another batter would have come to the plate. But everyone in the media ignores the fact that Cespedes made a terrible fielding play before making a laser throw to the plate. I'll take the consistent fielding on my team over a few highlight reel throws. I know, the A's are in first place, Cespedes is a rising star, and the throw was incredible. But looking at the play as a whole, and the bigger picture-he still messed up big time, before making a great play.