By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, comforted by the fact that spring training is only 107 days away, not ready for a long winter’s nap and wondering if it is time to buy the sun screen?
—Anybody who is old-school baseball and anti-analytics has to love these remarks from Don Werner, formerly a back-up catcher for the Cincinnati Reds and the guy who caught Tom Seaver’s no-hitter when Bench was hurt:
“Thank you Los Angeles Dodgers for teaching the youth of America, with all your strikeouts and weak pop-ups, how the launch angle does not work against real pitching.
“Perhaps now coaches everywhere can put the crazy theory developed by the nerds in the game to bed. Don’t drink the launch angle Kool-Aid, kids. Launch angle works off the tee and soft toss but not against a real pitcher. Get on the pitching machine and learn how to square up fastballs.”
Great words from a guy who when he wore a Reds uniform if he said three words it was considered an oratorical. And the flavor of that Kool-Aid is not sour grape.
—And thanks to good friend and highly talent retired sports columnist Mike Downey (Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit), I didn’t have to research these gruesome offensive (very offensive) numbers put up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
In five games, the Dodgers had 34 hits, 56 strikeouts, and a .180 team average. Individual averages: Manny Machado .182, Chris Taylor .143, Kike Hernandez .133, Matt Kemp .111, Joc Pederson .083, Cody Bellinger .063, Brian Dozier .000 and Austin Barnes .000.
Just call ‘em The Hitless Blunders and move on.
—MLB probably has its head buried too deeply in piles of television money to realize it, or even care, but ratings for this year’s World Series were abysmal.
The five games averaged 14,125,000 viewers on Fox, down 25 percent from last year and the fourth-lowest ever. And this was a Series involving two of the biggest TV markets in the country.
This should convince MLB and TV to play some weekend games in the afternoon and start weekday games earlier. Wonder how many were still watching Game 3 when it ended at 3:30 a.m. eastern time after 18 innings? I fell asleep in the 12th with the TV on and Joe Buck and John Smoltz still babbling.
—In honor of Treat or Treat Night, my favorite goodies: Esther Price cashew bark, Reese’s Cups, Hershey with almonds, Butterfingers, red licorice sticks, Jack’s beef jerky, Clark bars (remember them?), Snickers, Three Musketeers and jelly beans (all flavors).
Please, no candy corn, no popcorn balls, no Mounds, no Bit O’ Honey, no cream-filled chocolate, no Necco wafers, no peanut brittle, no fudge. Thank you.
—The Cleveland Browns could be accused of constantly shooting themselves in the foot, but everybody knows their shotgun offense shoots blanks.
After being the laughingstock of the NFL for so many years, the Browns called further attention to their dysfunctional operations by firing coach Hue Jackson, which made sense, and naming Gregg Williams the interim coach, which makes no sense.
The last time Williams made big news was when he coached with the New Orleans Saints and was suspended in 2012 for a year by the NFL for Bountygate. Williams was an integral part of the culture that paid money to Saints players for injuring opposing players.
If he is foolish enough to try that again they can change the team’s name to the Cleveland Black & Blues.