By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after reading a woman’s request that pole dancing be added to the Olympic Games. Would the winner be the dancer that collected the most dollar bills?
—For those who still believe the Cincinnati Reds can finish .500 this year, well, to do that they need to win 21 of their last 33 games.
Not even Pete Rose would bet on that happening. Or would he? He does, after all, still bleed Cincinnati red.
He follows that team closely, so he most likely saw the abomination in Pittsburgh over the weekend — a three-game sweep by the last place Pirates.
A lot of fans out there believe the Reds have thrown in the white surrender towel, that they aren’t trying right now. If that were so, the team wouldn’t have scrambled from 8-3 behind Sunday to draw within 8-7 before losing, 9-8.
The Reds do lead the league in at least one statistic. Their 27 one-run losses are the most in the majors.
If they had only won 13 of those games what a difference it would make. Yeah, if. If Bill Mazeroski hadn’t hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7, the Pittsburgh Pirates might not have won the 1960 World Series. But he did.
—QUOTE: From Pirates infielder Don Hoak on Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run in the 1960 World Series: “Maz is eighth in the batting order, a spot that doesn’t exactly rank him as the greatest hitter of all time, yet he comes up after the Yanks have tied the score in the ninth and bam! I said, ‘Get out of here, you rotten, stinking, beautiful baseball.’”
—More home run nonsense. With a month-and-a-half left in the season, the Baltimore Orioles have given up a record 262 home runs. Can they reach 300? They probably can, without even trying hard. Hey, it makes sense. Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore, so isn’t that where home runs were invented?
By the way, the Orioles have used 37 different pitchers this year and if they keep trying they might find one that doesn’t give up home runs.
—QUOTE: From former Baltimore manager Earl Weaver, back when the Orioles were good: “Pitching keeps you in games. Home runs win you games.”
—The Antonio Brown helmet dispute is beyond ludicrous, it’s laughable. He said he would walk out on his $30 million contract with the Oakland Raiders if he isn’t permitted to wear an old helmet no longer manufactured.
The NFL should let him wear a space helmet because this guy is a certified space cadet. And anyone who believes he’ll vacate a $30 million contract over a helmet issue probably played football without a helmet.
—QUOTE: From Anonymous: “The problem with making threats is that some day somebody may come and take you up on it.”
—Houston pitcher Justin Verlander refused to do a post-game interview if Detroit Free Press beat writer Anthony Fenech attended.
The Astros granted his request to bar Fenech, a violation of MLB and Baseball Writers Association of America rules. Verlander said it was because of unethical activities by Fenech, but didn’t specify events.
Obviously, Verlander doesn’t understand the meaning of free press. And he doesn’t understand the phrase, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
—QUOTE: From former major league pitcher Satchel Paige: “If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”
—The Indianapolis Colts fans who booed Andrew Luck after he announced his retirement should be required to turn in their season’s tickets. The man gave seven years and several body parts to the franchise and numerous injuries and concussions.
One guy was shown on TV stripping off his Andrew Luck jersey and throwing it to the ground. He should be made to take four snaps at a Colts scrimmage. Have an ambulance ready.
—QUOTE: From Jenny Eclair. English comedienne: “They should allow booing in shops and restaurants when the service is bad and if you have a bad breakfast in a hotel you should be able to put down your knife and fork and boo.”
—Some additional bizarre minor league baseball team nicknames: Rocket City Trash Pandas, El Paso Chihuahuas, New Orleans Baby Cakes, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Amarillo Sod Poodles, Daytona Tortugas, Biloxi Shuckers, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Down East Wood Ducks, Florida Fire Frogs, Rocky Mountain Vibes, West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
—Early personal pat on the back: As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” or it isn’t over until the Fat Lady sings. But she is warming up in the bullpen. My pre-season prediction on the National League Central standings: St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh. Check the current standings. Thank you.
—Improbable won the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar Race Course Sunday. King Jack finished second. A $2 exacta bet paid $4.20. Yeah, I was all over it to win $2.20.
—QUOTE: From humorist Will Rogers: “You know horses are smarter than people because you never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.”