By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, laughing while reading that the University of Dayton’s Wednesday basketball opponent, North Florida, is nicknamed the Ospreys and its male and female mascots are named Ozzie & Harriet.
—This is from the Detroit Free Press (where I worked for a year) about Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan State game in East Lansing: “The Buckeyes rank fourth in the country at 547 yards per game but have not yet played a defense this good, one that got even stronger against the pass with the return of cornerback Josiah Scott on Saturday (against Maryland). It will be just as big a test for the Ohio State offense to prove it can post video game-like numbers against an angry bunch of Spartans who are a year older, stronger and tougher.”
Sparty is still angry over last year’s 48-3 defeat at The Horseshoe when the quarterback was sacked six times. Sounds as if they should be angry with their offensive line.
—Speaking of Michigan State, I was working at the Detroit Free Press in 1966, covering the Spartans, including that famous 10-10 tie with Notre Dame when the Irish were No. 1 and Michigan State was No. 2.
I was at lunch one day with MSU coach Duffy Daugherty and some other writers, including the famous New York columnist Jimmy Powers. He couldn’t drive, so I chauffeured him around campus.
Daughterty was drawing plays on napkins when he spilled a glass of water on a napkin on which he was drawing a play. Without pausing, he said as he continued to draw, “That’s OK. We have to play on a wet field, too.”
—Kalvoski Daniels, former Reds left fielder, posted on Facebook a copy of Baseball America’s Top Prospects list from 1985. It read from the old Class AAA American Association: Best hitter, Kal Daniels; Fastest runner, Eric Davis; Best baserunner, Billy Hatcher; Best defensive second baseman, Tom Runnells.
Those four players all ended up playing for the Reds. And you know what? Wasn’t Eric Davis a whole lot more than a fast runner?
—Billy Hamilton didn’t win a Gold Glove, again. Old news. Atlanta’s Ender Inciarte of Atlanta won it for the third straight year for center fielders. All this emphasizes is the voting managers and coaches hold it against Hamilton because he can’t hit, can’t bunt (It’s a defensive award, fellows) and he plays for an irrelevant team.
—Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is expected to miss at least the next three games with a foot injury. That might mean the Bengals will lose the NFL’s AFC North by a foot.
—Booger McFarland, ESPN football analyst and LSU graduate on his alma mater’s 29-0 loss to Alabama: “Alabama is good, but they aren’t 29 points better than LSU.” Say what? Didn’t ‘Bama prove that on the field? Actually, Alabama might be 40 points better.
And how would you like to go through life known as Booger? Does he have a brother named Snot?
—The Cleveland Indians are not-so-good under pressure. The Tribe has lost nine straight games when facing elimination in the post-season, the longest streak in postseason history. There must be something in the Lake Erie water other than oil slicks and flotsam.
—Do you win-starved Reds fans realize that your team still has the longest World Series winning streak, nine straight. They won the final game of the 1975 World Series, then four straight in 1976 and four straight in 1990. That record isn’t likely to be extended or broken for a long time. A team has to actually play in the World Series to extend that record or have it broken and the Reds haven’t sniffed a World Series in 28 years, before most current Reds players were born.
Since Lou Piniella led the Reds to that 1990 sweep of the Oakland A’s, the Reds have had 12 managers — Tony Perez, Davey Johnson, Ray Knight, Jack McKeon, Bob Boone, Dave Miley, Jerry Narron, Pete Mackanin, Dusty Baker, Bryan Price, Jim Riggleman and David Bell.
And Reds CEO Bob Castellini is still mad at me for asking, after he fired general manager Wayne Krivsky, when the organization was going to show some stability. His answer: “We just aren’t going to lose any more.” Uh, OK.
—The Arizona Cardinals cut quarterback Sam Bradford this week and he laughed all the way to The Bahamas. He played three games this season and Arizona paid him $15.3 million. It was the biggest robbery in the history of the Sonoran Desert.
—The top two college football teams in the country this year: 1. Alabama. 2. Alabama’s Second Team.