Posts tagged “Derek Barsness

A Fan’s Perspective: MLB Spring Training


Couch Side's own Derek Barsness visited Arizona for a handful of Cactus League games during Spring Training this year. Photo by: Derek Barsness / © Couchsideshow,com

BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

After returning from a weekend in Arizona for a few Cactus League games, I remain convinced that baseball is the true American sport.

Many aspects of baseball’s spring training are desirable to both the avid and casual fan.  The first and probably biggest reason it’s so popular is the weather.  For the majority of the country we are still suffering the end of a harsh winter in March.  After six months of cold, snow and wind there are few things more appealing than sitting in 80+ degree weather drinking a cold beer and watching baseball under sunny skies.

For those of you who haven’t attended games at either the Cactus League or the Grapefruit League (in Florida) you need to put it on your bucket list.  The atmosphere at the games is incredible.  Literally every seat in the stadium has a great view.  For the younger crowds, many new stadiums are including a second level “Party Deck” which is an excellent option for spring breakers.  For more of the family atmosphere there is the lawn seating where the outfield bleachers usually are.  Make sure to arrive early and claim your spot with a blanket or two.  This is a great option if you have younger kids as there is usually plenty of room for them to run around and not have to sit still for two hours. (more…)

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Clippers sign free agent Martin


BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

Free agent power forward Kenyon Martin signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Photo by: Jason Thompson / Flickr

Free agent power forward Kenyon Martin has agreed to terms on a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.  Martin had been playing for the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in China, but reached a buyout in his contract back in December.  The deal is worth $2.5 million.

I like this deal for a couple of reasons.  The first is that K-Mart can still play.  He has always been solid defensively and while his offense isn’t his strong point, he is a good rebounder and can get hot from night to night.  Martin, 34, averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds with the Denver Nuggets last year before heading to China during the NBA lockout.  Martin also provides valuable depth for the Clippers.  Facing six game road trips twice in the next six weeks, Martin will provide much needed rest for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

The downside to Martin is the risk of injury.  He seems to have perpetual knee problems and hasn’t played in over 70 games since the ’07-’08 season.  And since that season his games played have dropped steadily each year due to injury.  Last season he played in only 48 games and averaged just 25.7 minutes per game, the lowest of his career.

The Clippers are off to a 13-7 start and hold a one game ahead of the Lakers in the Pacific Division.


Are NBA “superstars” ruining the game?


BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

NBA stars are becoming bigger than the game itself. And it’s making fans bitter; quickly turning them into haters.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony went from a fan favorite during his days in Syracuse to a trader after bailing on the Denver Nuggets last year. Photo by: Kevan Emmott/Flickr

Stars have always enjoyed special treatment. But when the power shift is so one sided that players like Dwight Howard can demand a trade the year before his contract expires, general managers are put in quite a predicament. Do they chance losing their star at the end of the season and have nothing to show for it or trade the core of the team that they’ve spent the past several years and millions of dollars building? And fans resent this. Not just fans of these teams, but fans of the game in general.

I’m a huge Denver Nuggets fan. I’m also a huge Syracuse Orangemen fan (yes, they are still the Orangemen to me, although the change to the Orange is growing on me). So When the Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003 it was a dream come true. He took Denver, a perennial lottery team, to the playoffs in his first season. But after what happened with Melo last season, I’m a hater now. I hate the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire (for no good reason) and Spike Lee (seriously, does anyone actually like that guy). I even hate the Lakers, and as I write this blog I’m watching the Knicks take on the Lakers. I’m rooting against the Knicks, but essentially that means I’m rooting for the Lakers!

Denver was between a rock and a hard place. Melo’s situation was different than the one the Magic are currently in with Howard. This was mostly due to the expiring NBA labor contract and the possibility that if Melo didn’t sign an extension before the end of the season he would lose millions of dollars in guaranteed money. He made it public knowledge that he would only accept a trade to New York so no teams were willing to trade away the draft picks and prospects that Denver was rightfully asking for in return. If the Nuggets didn’t trade Melo, they risked losing one of the top 10 best players in the league and having nothing to show for it. Personally, I think Melo was greedy enough and would have accepted an extension with Denver rather than lose millions. So Denver traded their star for a crop of young
talent, but none of them will ever fill the shoes of Anthony.

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