Matt Diaz

Matt Diaz Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

Bounced back, big time, from his 2008 annus horribilis and had, statistically, his finest season, due to a big walk spike that pushed his on-base percentage to .390, and a career high 425 plate appearances. He was much less reliant on batting average than earlier in his career, with a .288 secondary average that beat his previous high by 63 points. He also wound up playing a significant amount in right field, and even two games in center, without embarrassing himself. All in all, a successful year.

However, that hides the real story of the season, which is that Diaz is increasingly reliant upon his ability to pound lefthanded pitching. Against lefthanders, he was Rogers Hornsby, hitting .412/.464/.640. Against righties, he was more Roger Cedeno, hitting .255/ .349/.400. And, of course, he wound up getting the majority of his at-bats against righthanders, so sixty percent of the time he was Cedeno. If Diaz can get back to hitting .300, even an empty .300, against righthanders, he’s a usuable everyday player. If he can’t, he really needs to be platooned, but the Braves aren’t in a position to do that. Diaz, limited as he is, is probably a better hitter against righthanders than Melky, and they aren’t going to give left field to Gregor Blanco.

Tied for the team stolen base lead with twelve, and led the team with four triples. He’s probably the fastest position player on the team, though Jurrjens is probably faster… I’ve a feeling that this is Diaz’s last year in a Braves uniform. He’ll be 32, which is about the age when a player who isn’t a star is hard to hang on to. It will be his fifth season as a Brave; he’s longer-tenured than any player in a Braves uniform other than Chipper, Hudson, and McCann. (The only other member of the 2006 team still with the club? Prado.) Most-similar batter through age 31 is Mike Easler, which is just perfect.

107 thoughts on “Matt Diaz”

  1. I can’t figure out the Braves sometimes. They have guys that cry out for platooning but they don’t acquire the second half of the platoon. In some ways, they seem to be like the Orioles of the late 70s/80s, but they don’t seem to accept it and build the time like that. I mean, it’s obvious that Diaz is a much worse hitter against righthanders, so why not go out and get a lefty platoon partner? Instead, they get Melky Cabrera who, while not a bad player, really doesn’t add much.

  2. I’d obviously like all of our hitters to be consistent, but when you hit like that against lefties, you can put up with some lackluster righty stats. Too bad Cliff Lee isn’t in the NL East anymore…

  3. I sure hope that Matt can put up some decent numbers against righties because the alternative is a platoon with Cabrera or God forbid Hinske.

  4. I’d love to see Bobby publicly proclaim that Diaz is his starting LF in all situations and see if that would boost his confidence and performance.

    As for me, Diaz is the guy I’m rooting for the hardest. (Btw, if he was a Cincinnati Red, he’d hit 25 homers and be a hero.)

  5. I once watched a game that had James Worthy (my favorite college player of all time), Michael Jordan and Ralph Sampson on the floor at the same time.

    I believe the halftime score was 8-6.

    Dean Smith should be banned from any and all basketball Halls of Fame.

  6. Diaz against rhp (career): .722 ops
    Melky against rhp(career): .730 ops

    Melky is not a solution to any problem.

  7. Melky’s also 25, right? And better defensively? No solution, but a better option than Diaz against righties, almost certainly.

    I love Diaz, BTW. I’m with hank on that one.

  8. Actually, even batting righthanded, Diaz has decent numbers for a lead off guy. He probably is better than anybody else we have other than possibly McLouth.

    The batting average in 2009 didn’t just go way down (from 2005 to 2007 levels)on the “v. righthanders side” but went way up on the “v. Lefthanders” side. My guess is that is statistical noise, both ways.

    Since Diaz got the contacts when he came to the Braves he has obp’d around 350 against righthanders with little power. Last year was more walks, less hits. With the age, a walk improvement (and a batting average drop) should somewhat “stick”. His career stats are still marred by a significant portion of his PA’s (300?) being before he could see out of both eyes at the same time. And that period produced a massive drop off (v. right versus v. left) that is why Diaz “couldn’t stick” at ML level.

    I propose for “non Heyward” periods:

    Diaz left, Melky center, McLouth right. Bat Diaz leadoff.

    After Heyward is up let every 6 days break like this:

    Diaz in left against lefthanders: 2 games. Melky in right against lefhanders: 1 game. Melky in center against lefhanders 1 game. Melky in left against righthaders 2 games.

    That way Diaz starts 4 of 6 (two against lefthanders), McLouth 5 of 6 (off day against lefty), Melky 4 of 6 (half lefties, half righties), and Heyward 5 of 6 91 day off against lefties).

    I know it is a counter intuitive way to look at it, but I am beginning to think that if Heyward comes up he should bat lead off. They can just tell him “If it is really what you like, hit it. If they want to walk you, take the base.” I believe Heyward could obp 400 (and bat 280, slug 430). Other than Chipper, we don’t have anybody else with 400 obp possibilities.

  9. I suggested that we do a montage of Jeffy looking stupid in both uniforms instead of that picture… she said “We don’t hate Frenchy” and my reply was just “yet”… though in earlier discussions I may have sent:

  10. @8
    I can see how you could compare Avatar and Ferngully.
    I mean, Babe Ruth and Pete Orr were both ballplayers. And Pete could probably run better. And Ferngully had Robin Williams.

    On a scale like that, I can see it.

  11. Kevin, that’s a pretty common comparison actually… Avatar = Ferngully/Dances With Wolves/Pocahontas has been made a LOT… Basically Avatar isn’t an amazingly new STORY, it’s a basic plot (some think it well told) wrapped up in a bunch of fantastic visuals.

    http://scififantasyfilms.suite101.com/article.cfm/avatar-3d-movie-has-familiar-storyline#ixzz0ePK6ZSFu

    “Avatar is even more similar to FernGully. This Australian animated film from 1992 has a strong environmental theme. The fairy people who live in the rain forest of FernGully have never had contact with human beings and believe they exist only in stories. When a fairy named Christa ventures from FernGully, she comes across human Zak, who she accidently shrinks to her size.

    Zak is part of a logging team who has come to cut down the rain forest, but when he discovers the beauty of FernGully he vows to save it.”

  12. On the 96-team tourney

    One thing they should do (even though it may seem counter-intuitive) is require teams to have at least a .500 conference record to qualify for the tournament. This could ensure that not all of the extra bids go to just the major conferences. It could also actually enhance some of the regular season games as a game at the end of the year to get to .500 could be an actual elimination game.

  13. For those who can’t wait for the 2010 draft here is a mock draft which goes into the supplemental round (where the Braves have their first pick):

    http://mlbbonusbaby.com/

    I would hope that if the draft plays out that way for the first 34 picks, we would be able to find a decent position player…..

  14. Another good idea, Dusty, but it probably has even less of a prayer of happening than the two automatic bids idea. Occasionally teams with 7-9 conference records get in even now.

    This should absolutely be a rule with the 65-team field, but given it isn’t even a rule now, I don’t see how they would implement it for the 96-team field.

    Another way to do this would be to implement a limit on the number of teams that can get in from each conference, which also has no chance of happening given the selection committee refuses to admit it pays attention to how many teams get in from each conference, even though it’s obvious that they do in many years.

  15. stu,
    fangraphs has diaz as a better defensive left fielder than melky, so there is no advantage. oh yeah….age. sigh….

    at 31, diaz outperformed melky in…basically everything, and some by a pretty wide margin.

    shouldnt the age argument be used to judge one player’s year to year performance and not be used to compare 2 different people, especially one such as diaz who had his best season at 31 and showed no signs of being on the decline?

  16. @19
    BFedRec, thanks for the link. I understand your point and you picked a great example.
    I’d even add that if the old axiom “If you show a cannon onstage in Act I, it had better gone off by the end of Act III” is true, this fires every cannon. I thought the story was well told.
    I posted to invite friends to share the sense of wonder those visuals inspired in me. I think I got my ten bucks worth.
    If I had the chance (and another $20), I’d like to treat you.

  17. @17,

    They’re both movies about an outsider getting plopped into a world of non-humans who worship nature, the outsider falling in love with one of them, and then stopping the humans from destroying the world. I’m not the first one to see the similarities. Nothing against Avatar, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    You’re not as cute as you think you are.

  18. My point about age, ryan, is that Melky (who hasn’t yet reached his prime) is likely to outperform his career line, whereas Diaz (at the end of or past his prime), is likely to underperform his.

    As for defense, we’re talking about right field. Even FanGraphs’ numbers show Cabrera as (much) better, and I don’t think UZR/150 even takes throwing arm into account, and Melky has the advantage there.

  19. Actually, all OF alignment issues are moot until the decision on Heyward is made. Mac earlier hinted that he thinks there is no way the OF as currently constituted can leave out Heyward, and I concur.

    Its almost a given that Schafer is starting in Gwinnett. So if Heyward is not starting in Atlanta, it would be the ultimate tweener OF of McLouth/Diaz/Melky/Blanco. Blanco and Melky are too similar in skillset to be in the same OF. So it has to work with Heyward in RF, with Diaz/McLouth/Melky doing musical chairs in CF and LF, platooning on handedness and defence.

  20. To clarify: I was talking about right field. It occurs to me that you may not have been. I’m still fantasizing about a world where we sign Johnny Damon and leave Heyward in Gwinnett for a couple of months.

  21. I bought an old Atlanta Braves VHS “Lightning Strikes Twice” on Amazon.com for $6 or so (including s&h). Little did they know it would strike fourteen times.

    And little did I know my VHS player is broken.

  22. “I’m still fantasizing about a world where we sign Johnny Damon and leave Heyward in Gwinnett for a couple of months.”

    What he said.

  23. @31,

    No problem, man. I realize my comment came off a little harsh too. Sorry about that.

    I wasn’t a huge fan of wearing the 3D glasses for three hours. Maybe the quality varies from theater to theater?

  24. stu, i dont understand the rightfield speculation on melky vs. diaz, and why you argued the point from that angle. at this current setup, the pair will not be playing right field.

    but…
    i like the signing of damon, at cabrera’s expense, not at heyward’s.

    diaz/damon/heyward/mclouth > diaz/heyward/melky/mclouth

    diaz, damon, and heyward each get apprx. 2/3 playing time with other serving as the bench bat. if he can hack it, heyward plays center on mclouth’s off days. hinske and mitch jones serve as emergency starters. there is no need for melky cabrera with this setup.

    melky will get expensive next year and will lose all of his yankee luster. trade him. there are people out there that think he can play centerfield well enough to be a starter. advertise him that way, trade him, boost the organizational depth up even more, and use the money to sign a competent platoon partner for diaz…like damon! TRADE HIM NOW OR ELSE!

    Prediction: If he’s a brave, we all hate Melky by the end of the year…I mean Frenchy hate.

  25. I posted this on the previous thread well after the new one was up. Rather than waste the wealth of my input, I thought I would repost it. Apologies if everyone is finished with this topic.

    Back to the NCAA basketball tourney:

    I have to think that expanding the tourney to 96 teams greatly diminishes the honor of being selected. 8-10 teams would be coming each year from each power conference. We could see mediocre programs running 30 year streaks of making the tourney. This would have to decrease interest in the conference tourneys (and the regular season).

    I’m not sure it’s a money-maker, on the whole.

    If you want to acknowledge parity and make sure an OVC team with 24 wins and an untimely conference tournament loss does not get screwed, go to 4 or 8 play-in games. Call it the preliminary round. That creates a field of 68 or 72.

  26. @11 – Sorry, Johnny –

    I meant Johnny Damon and the Yankees. I just got a kick out of an ESPN crawl from Scott Boras last night some THREE DAYS after the Yanks clearly went in another direction that said “I don’t think the Yankees are serious about signing Johnny Damon”.

    And I fear ryan c’s prediction about Melky may prove correct which will really make me sick all over again about giving up arguably the NL’s best pitcher for MelkMan – with the power to Melk.

    I get furious with Wren every time I think about it. What a friggin’ waste.

  27. @35,

    I hate to open old wounds, and sorry if this is retread, but one of the talking points I found most interesting after the Vazquez trade was the comment that the Yankees were the only team that could afford to pick up a pitcher with $10+ million contract. Now that we have some distance from the trade, does this seem like a true statement?

  28. stu, i dont understand the rightfield speculation on melky vs. diaz, and why you argued the point from that angle. at this current setup, the pair will not be playing right field.

    OK, you must have missed this:

    I’m still fantasizing about a world where we sign Johnny Damon and leave Heyward in Gwinnett for a couple of months.

    As for this:

    but…
    i like the signing of damon, at cabrera’s expense, not at heyward’s.

    diaz/damon/heyward/mclouth > diaz/heyward/melky/mclouth

    Maybe so, but I’ll guarantee you that the difference between Heyward and Melky isn’t worth the extra expense of making Heyward a Super-2. If you wanna deal Melky in June, fine.

  29. That’s the real value of the Melkster to me. He’s cheap this year, and has a bit of a good rep (not with me). Someone is going to get hurt between now and June, and if Melky can be sheltered a bit in a platoon, he’d actually have decent trade value.

  30. There is no such thing as Frenchy hate towards anyone but Frenchy. I still hate the Melky trade, but nothing indicates that he can possibly be THAT bad.

  31. Wow – Auburn’s got 6 signees in ESPN’s top 150, 3 in the top 50, and the number 5 overall. That’s a darn good class.

  32. spike, your new parenthetical handle is awesome.

    Of course, now you’re venturing into football, and Butch Davis — and, by extension, chris — knows a thing or two about that. Be very careful.

  33. I’m pumped for signing day. The Vols could pull the one of the best WR classes of all time!

    Vandy has a good class.

  34. I am little upset Richt couldn’t hang on to Da’Rick Rogers, but the Georgia class looks solid with good defensive athletes and a couple of highly ranked offensive lineman. Hopefully Georgia can land another wideout to replace Rogers, but I doubt it. Losing Rogers hurts.

  35. Wow, we jumped up to #17 today (from like 30th) in the Rivals rankings in the last 24 hours, thanks mainly to landing Lattimore (the consensus #1 RB). Okay, Steve, let’s actually run the ball sometimes.

  36. Nash is going to go to school for free and carry Rogers’ books for him for the next four years (maybe three)

  37. I’m just glad we got rid of him.

    FWIW, Chaney likes Nance more than either of the other two kids coming in. Which probably says more about those two than anything…

  38. I can’t help but laugh at the Braves’ mlb site headline – “Heyward enjoys trip down memory lane”. At 20 years old I would bet his memories of high school are still pretty sharp. The article title sounds like he’s 50 years old and visiting his childhood home!

  39. The reaction to Melky continues to entertain. I was not pretty unhappy with the trade, but I also think that it makes sense to see how he performs for Atlanta, before turning him into a sequel of Frenchy….

  40. #55 Yeah–I would have thought so and plenty of marketing as well.

    It will be fun to see what would happen if Melky becomes a productive player in Atlanta. However, I am expecting 4th outfielder performance….

  41. It’s hard not to root for Matt Diaz, the dude epitomizes the word “overachiever”. But when a ballplayer has his best season in the big leagues at the tender age of 31, time is not on his side. Matty continues to be at best a platoon type outfielder/pinch hitter, and became a walking advertisement for Tony Horton’s PX90 fitness program last season.

    Unfortunately with Cabrera (24)and McLouth (27) along with the two young studs represented by Heyward (20)and Schafer (23), Matty’s days in a Braves uniform are numbered.

  42. #57–You may be right: I could see the Braves trading him to an AL club where he could be both a 4th outfielder and a DH.

    I guess the Braves concluded that Diaz could not play 1B, which if he could might enable him to stick around much longer.

    At this point, I just hope that he can be the hitter in 2010 that he was in 2009….

  43. I’m pumped for signing day. The Vols could pull the one of the best WR classes of all time!

    I hope you weren’t counting on Markeith Ambles for that class.

  44. Putting the Frenchy/Melky Argument into persepective:

    Francoeur/Melky comparisons:
    Age 21- frenchy: 884 ops melky: 752 ops
    Age 22- frenchy: 742 ops melky: 718 ops
    Age 23- frenchy: 782 ops melky: 641 ops
    Age 24- frenchy: 653 oops melky: 752 ops

    UZR(career)- frenchy:6.2 melky: -2.1

    melky’s defensive numbers probably equal out b/c he’s spent the majority of his time in left field (a much easier position), offsetting his time in right and center.

  45. @61 Indeed – OPS+ from 21 to 24 has it as 92 Frenchy, 88 Melky – pretty marginal difference. The career UZR comparison is also useless, because not only does it give Frenchy 90 extra games, but the extra games it gives him are from 2005, in which he has by far his best UZR season ever (30.1), and has been fading drastically since. There’s a bit more “perspective” when you look at the comparison in context.

  46. Everyone in Knoxville, including Cheney knows Bray is the guy, at least over Nash.

    Good haul so far today by SEC schools.

  47. I don’t think there is any doubt that Melky is no better than Frenchy. The most important difference is that one of those players was given roughly 162 starts a year, hitting in the middle of our order to prove it; the other most certainly will not be.

  48. The two aren’t particularly comparable. Melky’s starting at a much lower level than Jeffy, and he’s shown actual signs of improvement, though he may never get there.

  49. Coach, I am unsure why you think that the team would rather have Cabrera than Diaz. Cabrera neither hits nor fields particularly well, and Diaz is significantly cheaper. If his best year was 31, that does not necessarily mean he is toast tomorrow. I’d talk up Melky’s mystique and aura during ST and move him to the Cubs for something worthwhile the first chance I got.

  50. Lattimore (the consensus #1 RB).

    Lattimore is well regarded and I am sorry AU missed out on him. Dyer was rated higher by ESPN, and right now AU has the 3rd best class in the country according to Rivals. I’ll settle for that.

  51. MLBTraderumors headline –

    “Aurilia Hopes To Sign With Yankees Or Mets”

    Yeah, me too.

  52. SEC Recruiting Winners: (in no order)

    Florida
    Auburn
    LSU
    Tennessee
    Alabama

    SEC Recruiting Losers:

    UGA
    Arkansas
    Kentucky

  53. From the data I collected, here was my point:

    Unless another OF is signed, if Heyward flops during Spring Training, Cabrera is going to be the full-time starter somewhere. It’s not justifiable to think (which noone has said it is), that Melky Cabrera will outperform Jeff Francoeur, whom we all hated.

    and the “adjusted data” that spike provided changes nothing. francoeur, for his career, has been a slightly better player, and we hated francoeur.

    granted, we hated francoeur for his ridiculous quotes, lack of walks and incredibly poor 2008, but francoeur is a better player than melky.

    i know i’m setting myself up here and that is not the point, but i just really dont see anything positive in melky cabrera in a braves uniform…

  54. spike–

    Tommy Thigpen will do that for you. He helped UNC last year and, it seems, there was friction on the staff (some say Blake, others say Withers) and left for you guys. As a UNC grad, he was happy in Chapel Hill and the only way he comes back is as a DC or Head Coach.

    too bad he’s not that great of a coach. however, he’s a monster recruiter.

  55. Everyone in Knoxville, including Cheney knows Bray is the guy, at least over Nash.

    Not remotely true.

    Lane Kiffin and a Rivals analyst who attended one camp are the only people in America who think Bray is “the guy”.

  56. Stu,

    Lots of people think that. He has been evaluated at several camps (he only started attending them last summer)

    He looked pretty good from bowl practice reports. Plus, Cheney was the lead recruiter on Bray. Cheney is very high on him.

    Nash was an in road to Rogers. If he plays over Bray, it is because Bray’s neck is broken.

  57. It also looks like Tennessee is going to sign Boise State’s Defensive Coordinator. I like that hire.

  58. You actually helped us by showing interest in Nance, who never was going to play here.

    When I think of defense, I think of the WAC.

  59. Ryan – given the extreme weight that 2005 puts on Frenchy’s career totals, I am not sure that “Frenchy has been a slightly better player than Melky” is as true as you may think. Actually, given their respective ages and performance curves to date, I think I would take Melky over Frenchy in 2010. Melky outperformed him in 2009 in every part of the game – at the plate in OPS+, was a better baserunner, and a better fielder according to UZR.

    chris – Thigpen is from my hometown.

    edit – Bill James, CHONE and Marcel all predict Melky to be better as well.

  60. You are dead on about the WAC Stu,

    That is why being ranked in the top 15 in the nation in total defense in that conference is saying something

  61. They held TCU and Oregon to a combined 8 points (all by the Ducks, who come to Knoxville next year)

  62. I think that Melky will probably remind us a bit of Michael Tucker–a decent 4th outfielder. However, he is only 25 and so he might get better. He might peak in a couple of years and put together a pretty good year.

    I am guessing that he will be forgettable, but the determined dislike for a player who has yet to play for the Braves is, at the very least, entertaining….

  63. Obviously, being tied to the Vazquez trade and the Yankee hype machine is what has sparked the ire for Cabrera. A 4th OF who can play all 3 positions, give you a 100 OPS+, and function as a good pinch runner/hitter with ok defense is a pretty valuable commodity. He’s miscast as a starter in this era at his current offensive output though for most teams. He’s got youth going for him, but unfortunately, is about to get expensive for his best position.

  64. This is going to sound strange, but who did Tennessee ultimately sign to coach? Somehow, I missed that.

  65. Florida is pulling in a hell of a class. I thought Urban Meyer was sick. I guess it was a recruiting ploy.

  66. I was in LA last week and the talk there was that it only took Kiffin 10 days to secure a minor recruiting violation – something about providing a limo service for recruits that was outside the rules. It seems Kiffin is slipping a little – didn’t it take him about 3 days at UT?

    UT is instantly much less hateable and in much better hands with Dooley IMO. It’s pretty amazing that he’s held onto a good class and added some more to the mix. Maybe Kiffin didn’t have enough time at UT to orchestrate major NCAA violations. I have a feeling USC won’t be so lucky – even if they escape the NCAA cloud that hovered before Kiffin came.

  67. If the Reggie Bush thing doesn’t bring USC down, nothing will. I suspect nothing ever happens to Kiffin out there.

  68. I think (and hope) they get nailed on the Bush thing. It won’t be Death Penalty, but it might be harsh, and if Kiffin drops the soap the NCAA is going to, well, I won’t make the bad joke here.

  69. If the Reggie Bush thing doesn’t bring USC down, nothing will. I suspect nothing ever happens to Kiffin out there.

    Don’t get your hopes up about the Bush thing, nothing’s going to happen.

    SEC fans talking about other team’s recruiting violations is funny stuff.

    Welcome aboard Seantrel Henderson!

  70. Wow, what a class by UF. It’s a virtual lock that some of these guys are going to transfer after next year, but I’m really optimistic. People like to talk about the spread, but it seems to me that Florida has been more of a defensive powerhouse, and if this class is any indication, that’s the way it’s going to stay.

  71. Wow, what a class by UF. It’s a virtual lock that some of these guys are going to transfer after next year, but I’m really optimistic.

    There is some attrition. Most of the big southern schools take 25-30 “scholarship” players a year. Obviously with an 85 scholarship limit and players staying up to five years, something’s got to give. Some of it’s academic causalities, but a lot of it is just the school pulling the scholarship if the player isn’t as good as they hoped. Grey-shirting is kind of scummy, but there’s little about big time college football that isn’t if you look behind the curtain.

    Pete Carroll didn’t care for this and said so, consequently USC typically takes only 20 or less players a year. With Kiffen on board, I imagine we’ll be pushing 30 by next season.

  72. Vanderbilt is clean, Robert. We’d win some games if we weren’t. And I complain about the SEC’s lack of integrity plenty, thankyouverymuch.

    None of those “schools” have anything on your Trojans, though.

  73. Vanderbilt is clean, Robert. We’d win some games if we weren’t.

    Sure, who cares. When I talk about SEC Football, I’m not really talking about Vandy.

    None of those “schools” have anything on your Trojans, though.

    Sure they do, people just care more if you can put ‘USC’ in the headline.

  74. you can’t go with the Mike Easler comparison. Easler was a LH hitter who hit .305 against RH pitching and .247 against LH pitching. The two are completely opposite.

    Melky is not the answer, no, but that trade was not about melky at all. it was about the kid. In a few years, when Javy acts like he did in the AL before, people will call this a good trade for us. Javy has never had back to back great years. Last time he pitched for the Yorkies, he gave up a greand slam to Johnny Damon…. when Damon was with the Red Sox. Look for a 4 era+. Some guys can;t play in NY. (Randy Johnson?) Vazquez is one of them.

    The Braves are not going to sign Damon. They will probably test the OF with Diaz/Nate/Melky against LH and hinske/Nate/Melky against RH. If not, they will call up Jesus, I mean, Heyward early and platoon Diaz and Melky (which wouldn’t be all that bad) and sit Hinske.

    The Glaus signing was beautiful, especially since it was for 2m. I thought they should have added someone like Ross Gload for the PH role, but, whatever. I also thought we should have signed someone like Mike Jacobs or Jack Cust for the power. Cust is a poor mans adam dunn. Did like the Mitch Jones signing.

  75. anyway…hankonly…@5

    you’re just wrong. to say that Dean did that with those two players IS WRONG. so, if you can’t even get the era right (it was ’76 against South Carolina, fwiw), why should i trust your basketball opinion about, possibly, the most influential college basketball coach of the past 80 years? to say he shouldn’t be in a Hall of Fame is sad, seeing that every Duke fan I know thinks hes the 2nd best coach of all time…

    i’m sure you’ll say Rupp and Allen and you’d be wrong. again.

  76. But, Robert, I’m not an SEC football fan; I’m a VU fan.

    So if I had it do to over again I wouldn’t quote you in #94 (breaking my own rule, and look, I’m breaking it again) as it gives the impression I was talking to only you. It was more a response to the several posts preceding #94.

  77. I don’t know why I’m getting involved in this argument, but Dean Smith can’t help but be overrated. When you’re as high on the totem pole as he is, you’re bound to be, I guess. If he were the greatest coach of all time, he probably should’ve won more than two national titles, after all. How he didn’t win one with that ’97 team, I’ll never know.

    However, he’s very clearly a Hall of Fame coach, and I don’t mean to put words in hankonly’s mouth, but I’m pretty sure he was talking at least half-facetiously. If he wasn’t, he’s wrong. Any coach with as many wins as Dean Smith had is a Hall of Fame coach.

    However, there is absolutely nothing about the four corners offense to celebrate whatsoever. It is easily one of the three biggest douchebag coaching maneuvers of all time, and operates precisely opposite of any competitive spirit. The fact that it almost all by itself forced the implementation of the shot clock is not something to be proud of. It alone should be reason to not hold Dean Smith in as high a regard as other coaches of the same caliber. How he got all those recruits to play for him running that abomination, I’ll never know.

  78. My, but these Heels are touchy. With the year they’re having, I can understand …

    Of course Dean Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame. I was making an editorial comment about how wretched an idea the Four Corners Offense was.

    I could expound, but Nick says it perfectly.

  79. well if Diaz gets traded or whatever… they will loose my money… Thats the only reason i pay money to see them play……He is a good man!!

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