The NBA announced it will fine players for “flopping” starting next season. This bothers me. Flopping is part of the game. The only reason flopping is “out of control” is because people say it is. I disagree. When taking a charge, you fall over. It’s a charge. If you aren’t set or fall over too soon, it’s a block. It’s up to the refs to determine that. If the guy flops, simply don’t call a charge. I don’t see how you can fine someone for this. If he’s faking, just don’t call the foul. It’s that simple. Flopping is no different than an offensive player going up for a shot, having the ball striped then throwing his arms up in the air and screaming. Is he going to get fined for that? How about if on the way to the hoop, the player gets bumped and he falls down to sell the foul? Is that now finable too? How about when someone shoots a three, and falls down after someone jumps at him even though that contact, if there even is any, would never knock him down? Shooters do that all the time to draw the foul. Is that a fine worthy? Look, I understand that some people don’t like the flop. It’s annoying, it’s silly looking and it reminds people of soccer but it’s part of the game and it’s good defense (if they are in position). If you think a guy flops, just don’t call the charge. Call a block or let it go. A fine is ridiculous.
Here’s something that will get Graig going. I read a great article yesterday. It was about a major league player who has played more games at his position than anyone else, has more hits than all but one player at his position, as more Gold Gloves than all but one player at his position and has the best fielding percentage of anyone ever at his position. That player is, of course, Omar Vizquel. Last week he played his 2,584th career game at shortstop to set a new MLB record for most games played at short, breaking the previous record held by Luis Aparico. In the article by Jim Caple, he makes Omar’s Hall of Fame case. I’m here to back it up, as I have in the past. I know the arguments against; never a great hitter, never one of the best at the position. I’ll disagree with both of those. In the 90s and early 2000s, he was an average hitter but he always seemed to come through in the clutch. He had timely hits to start rallies, keep them alive or cap them off. I remember watching Indians games in those days when they needed a big hit and Omar would come up and I knew he’d come through. More times than not, he did. I was at one game, not sure the year, but the Indians were down two in the bottom of the ninth. The bases were loaded and Omar was up. What did he do? He bombed a Grand Slam to win the game that landed just 10 rows in front of where I was sitting. He was never a great hitter (best was .333 in 1999, which by the way is really good) but he was a clutch hitter.
As far as being the best at his position, yes and no. He couldn’t keep up with A-Rod and Jeter and Nomar at the plate, but those three couldn’t keep up with Omar in the field. Omar is the only one, besides Jeter still playing short. And I’d take Omar’s glove over Jeter’s any day. He is at worst the second best defensive short stop in the history of the game. His defense made up for his offensive. And it’s not like he was a liability at the plate. You can say negative things about his stats, you can say he was never the best at his position but if you watched him play, you’d know he’s a Hall of Famer. The plays he has made over the years are remarkable. San Francisco comes to Cleveland on June 24-26. I am making sure I get to one of those games. I want to see Omar play live one last time before he goes into the Hall of Fame.