By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while wondering whoever said that something is dirt cheap. Fifteen bags of top soil costs $20 at Home Depot.
—Did you see the smile on New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman after he gave up the series-deciding home run to Jose Altuve, Houston’s Little Big Man?
Certainly, the smile was in disbelief. But I believed it. While Chapman is an awesome closer, big situations catch up to him. When he entered the game in the ninth with the score tied, 4-4, I said to myself, “Self, this game is over.”
So now we can expect a masterful World Series, two teams with rich pitching staffs. Expect low-scoring games.
Fans get to watch Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, four of the best pitchers in the universe.
That being said, every game probably will be 9-8 and 10-9.
And I’m sticking with my pre-season prediction. The Washington Nationals in six.
QUOTE: From Jose Altuve, the biggest little man in sports: “I don’t think too much about mechanics. I just like to go up there and swing. It’s more than my swing, though. It’s my mindset. I always go to home plate with a plan.” (His plan Saturday night in the bottom of the ninth was to break every heart in Gotham. And he did.)
—For all the world to see, University of Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt showed his true colors Saturday, and it wasn’t orange and white. It was pure purple.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled on fourth-and-goal at Alabama’s 1-yard-line and Bama returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.
When Guarantano left the field Pruitt grabbed his quarterback’s face mask and jerked it, while spitting epithets in his face.
Pruitt should be made to don a helmet and permit Guarantano to jerk it until the coach screams, “Uncle.” And then Pruitt should be placed on the unemployed list.
—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame (both as a player and as a coach) Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Dodd: “Either love your players or get out of coaching.” (And love mean never grabbing your quarterback’s face mask.)
—So much for the Ohio State-Wisconsin game Saturday being a big game. Wisconsin, a 30 1/2 point favorite over Illinois, got caught looking ahead, and lost to woebegotten Illinois on a game-ending field goal.
No doubt the Badgers were caught looking ahead and figured if they just threw their helmets on the field they would beat the Illini.
And that’s why they play the games, no matter what the oddsmakers say. Now, the Buckeyes have to prevent a heavy dose of overconfidence themselves because there is no cure once the final whistle blows.
Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen forced a big fumble in the game, then walked into the post-game interview room puffing a big cigar. “Thirty-one point underdogs, huh? It’s a big (expletive deleted) you,” he said. That’s some education Big Jake is receiving.
—QUOTE: Asked about his team’s execution after a loss, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay said, “Execution? I’m in favor of it.”
—So you think it has been a long, long, long time since the Cincinnati Reds won a World Series? That would be 1990. Well, how about the money-dripping Los Angeles Dodgers. They haven’t won a World Series since 1988.
That team’s General Manager was former sports writer and Jamestown, Oh., native Fred Claire and the field manager was Tommy Lasorda.
—QUOTE: From former LA Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda: “No matter how good you are, you are going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you are going to win one-third of your games. It is the other third that makes the difference.” (Would somebody please relay that information to the Cincinnati Reds?)
—Some funny country song titles (Weird Al Yankovic songs don’t count): ‘You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly,’ by Loretta Lynn/Conway Twitty; ‘You Take the Medicine, I’ll Take the Nurse,’ by William Penix; ‘I’ve Been Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart,’ by Johnny Cash; ‘You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith, Too,’ by The Statler Brothers.
‘Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Posts of Life,’ by Bobby Bare; ‘If My Nose Was Running Money, I’d Blow It All On You,’ by Aaron Wilbur; ‘Please, Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas,’ by John Denver; ‘Here’s a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares,’ by Travis Tritt; ‘She Got the Gold Mine and I Got the Shaft,’ by Jerry Reed; ‘Thanks to the Cathouse I’m in the Doghouse With You,’ by Johnny Paycheck; ‘What Made Milwaukee Famous Has Made a Loser Out of Me,’ by Jerry Lee Lewis.