By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave from a lost soul after baseball season abruptly ended Sunday night. What now?
—Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is a fine, upstanding citizen, but he listened too much to the sabermetrics people in the plush chairs in the front office.
He gave away the first two games when just because Boston started two left handed pitchers Roberts started an entire right handed lineup. That meant he benched three left handed hitters with 109 home runs — Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson. Those guys are major league hitters who were successful during the season. And they can’t hit a left handed pitcher?
Granted, those three all were busts when they did play, but perhaps their confidence was sabotaged when they had to sit to start the first two games. When the Dodgers lost those first two games, I said to my two schnoodles, Cooper and Paige (they watched every game with me), “This World Series belongs to the Red Sox.”
—How is this for a kick in the shins to Cleveland Browns fans? Chandler Catanzaro, the Tampa Bay kicker who hit a 59-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Browns, missed an extra point the next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
—And then there is Browns alleged placekicker Chris Joseph. He missed a makeable field goal Sunday against the Steelers and then, when the Browns scored a touchdown and needed only an extra point to pull within a field goal, Joseph clanked the extra point, leaving the Browns four points behind.
Tryouts will be held this week outside First Energy Field. The Browns will furnish a holder.
—Speaking of the Browns, the ink was barely dry on a column by close friend and talented Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, saying it would be foolish to fire coach Hue Jackson, when the Browns became foolish.
Just hours after Pluto posted his column the Browns fired Jackson, who won two games and tied one during his 2 1/2-year run.
A Jackson team never won a game on the road and even though he is considered an offensive wizard the Browns scored six touchdowns in their last four games.
It brought to surface the old joke about what to do in case of a tornado in Cleveland. Go stand in the Browns end zone because nothing touches down there.
—Speaking of kickers, University of Dayton punter Sean Smith certainly has a future in the NFL. And that’s not just because he punted a ball 80 yards from the back of his own end zone against Butler University. And he kicked the laces.
Smith, a senior, has averaged 42.3 yards per punt for his career, sixth best of all FCS punters. He is averaging 44.5 yards for his 28 punts this season.
With 200 punts for his career, he has 77 inside the 20 and only 20 touchbacks, which constantly puts the opposition in poor field position.
Smith is a cinch to make the all-Pioneer Football League first team for the fourth straight year and was the only freshman to make it in 2015.
—Speaking of UD football, the Pioneer Football league is non-scholarship and everything is based on need.
That doesn’t mean the football isn’t entertaining. It is highly competitive and extremely skilled and worth checking out. And the price is right.
The Flyers haven’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1975-76, 42 years ago when Gerald Ford was president, gas was 60 cents a gallon and there were no Star Wars movies.
And the Flyers have not been shut out in 465 straight games, dating back to 1976. They lost, 9-0, to Marshall University on October 16, 1976, when UD still played Division I football.
—Judging talent apparently wasn’t a strong suit way back when at WHIO radio in Dayton. Hall of Fame broadcasters Chris Schenkel and Jack Buck both applied for jobs and were shown the door.
—Joey Votto is a fantastic offensive player, no questions asked, one of the best all-time for the Cincinnati Reds. But a Gold Glover? Who is kidding who with Votto’s inclusion as a Gold Glove finalist this year? Anybody who watched his play this year knows his defense was suspect at best. Manager and coaches do the voting. What were they watching?
—Because somebody asked: David Bell and Buddy Bell are the fifth father-son combination to manage in the majors. The others are Connie Mack and Earl Mack, George Sisler and Dick Sisler (who also managed the Reds), Joel Skinner and Bob Skinner, Bob Boone (who also managed the Reds) and Aaron Boone.
—When the Dayton Dragons Class A baseball team makes its trips across the Midwest, the transportation is furnished by Buckeye Charters of Dayton.
And next year the Dragons will travel in style, as much as bus travel can be stylish. Buckeye purchased a new $500,000 bus, all white with Dayton Dragons Baseball Club painted in large green lettering.
And there is extra space for comfortable leg space between seats. But how comfortable can one get for a 7 1/2-hour ride from Dayton to Cedar Rapids, even in a luxury motor coach?
—The Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Tyronn Lue just six games into the NBA season, all six games were losses.
Lue was the Cavs coach last year, but really was an assistant coach because LeBron James was the real coach. And now that James is in Hollywood it is doubtful the Cavaliers will win 20 games this season, even if Red Auerbach was the coach. OK, you Millennials, ask your grandpa who Red Auerbach was.
—On the same night the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers played an 18-inning World Series game, the Japanese World Series began.
And Game 1 ended in a tie. Huh? The Hiroshima Carp and Fukuoka Hawks played to a 2-2, 12-inning tie.
In the Japan Series, games are called draws after 12 innings. If the series is tied after seven game (3-3-1), a Game 8 is played, and games continue until one team has won four games.
Maybe that’s better than putting a runner on second base to start the inning in extra-inning games as they do in minor league games in the USofA.