OBSERVATIONS: A view from the Sun Room rocking chair


UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Sun Room, staying within reach of my walker and those infernal plastic urinals. Nadine asked me today when is the best time to check my blood pressure and I said, “Well, in the hospital it was every time I went to sleep.”

—QUOTE: From Ronald Dahl, “Those who don’t believe in magic won’t ever find it.” (I’m still looking and I’m certain it isn’t at the bottom of a flight of stairs.)

—The most head-shaking event in the sporting world this week was the New England Patriots taking video of the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during last Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

That has to be the biggest waste of videotape since the filming of ‘The Creature From the Black Lagoon.’ Why would the Pats need to cheat to beat the Bengals? All they need to do to is yank up their socks and strap on their helmets.

—Should the Cleveland Browns be shocked that Odell Beckham Jr. is an off-the-field distraction? It is in his DNA. And in his case DNA stands for Do Not Agree.

Opposing coaches and players say OBJ is telling them, “Get me out of Cleveland.” OBJ says it isn’t so. Hey, people asking to get them out of Cleveland isn’t novel.

What is clear is that the Cleveland Browns are the most dysfunctional team in the NFL. How long do you think it will be before Nick Chubb is saying, “Get me out of Cleveland. They hide the football from me up here.”

—QUOTE: From TV/movie star Lucille Ball: “Love yourself first and everything else falls in line.” (Words to live by, OBJ.)

—Joe Namath’s commercial makes me want to turn down Medicare.

—QUOTE: From former New York Jets quarterback/playboy Joe Namath: “When we won the league championship, all the married guys had to thank their wives for putting up with all the stress. I had to thank all the single broads in New York.”

—The multi-talented University of Dayton basketball team is overstuffed with talent. So far coach Anthony Grant is doing a marvelous job of keeping everybody happy with playing time. That will be his biggest challenge this season.

The 14th-ranked Flyers lead the NCAA in field goal percentage and assists. Those go hand-in-hand. The Flyers share the ball like the kids in The Little Old Lady’s shoe shared space. They pass up good shots to get the ball to a guy with a better shot and that leads to high shooting percentages.

What fans have to like most is that program insiders say, “These guys genuinely like one another and all they care about is winning.”

And the Flyers have the best leadership possible in senior Trey Landers and graduate student Ryan Mikesell. In both cases, their line scores could be 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and as long as the Flyers win, they’d be smiling.

—QUOTE: From NBA great Michael Jordan: “You must expect great things from yourselves before you can do them.” (There is no doubt the Flyers are expecting great things and so far they are displaying it.)

—Let’s see, UD beat Indiana State at UD Arena and Wright State lost to Indiana State in overtime in the Nutter Center. What does that mean? Nothing. The Raiders are for real.

There is a better-than-average chance that the Dayton area could have two league champions — UD the Atlantic 10 and Wright State the Horizon League.

—And don’t ever count out Sinclair Community College. The Pride (of downtown Dayton) is 9-and-0 and ranked No. 5 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II rankings.

The Pride is led by effervescent coach Jeff Price and plays home games in the only basketball facility in the country called Building 8.

Sean McNeil, Sinclair’s star operative last season, is playing for Bob Huggins at West Virginia (8-1). He is coming off the bench and average 14 minutes and 6.8 points.

—Pardon me if I’m not whistling Take Me Out to the Ball Game with what the Cincinnati Reds have done so far.

They signed free agent infielder Mike Moustakas to a four-year $64 million deal. He created a social media flutter when he said, “Now I can feed my kids.” Does that mean he can sprinkle lobster tails on their breakfast cereal?

Moustakas is a natural third baseman, but he won’t move Eugenio Suarez off third base. The Reds plan to play him at second base. He played second some last season for Milwaukee and was OK, but has limited range.

He has power and should connect often, 30 or more, in Great American Small Park. He hit .254 with 35 home runs for the Brewers last year. But he is like so many players these days — his on-base percentage is .310.

—It is humorous, especially during baseball’s winter meetings, to read from various outlets that, “The Reds are interested in this player and the Reds are interested in that player. . .” Of course, they should be interested in all good available, affordable players.

The trick is in signing the players they were “interested” in signing and didn’t. Like Yasmani Grandal and Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorious and others.

—If you believe pitcher Gerrit Cole and his $324 million contract was the big winner during the winter meetings, think again.

The real winner was super agent Scott Boras. He is Cole’s agent. He is Stephen Strasburg’s agent ($245 million). He is Anthony Rendon’s agent ($245 million). He is Mike Moustakas’ agent ($64 million).

That’s $878 million Boras collected for four clients. And he has more out there poised to sign. Unfortunately, he doesn’t represent sports writers.

—The New York Jets shooshed Le’Veon Bell away from the team hotel last Saturday and wouldn’t permit him to be near the team for its game Sunday because he had the flu.

So what did Bell do on Saturday night? He went bowling and risked infecting everybody in the bowling emporium. But he was proud. He bowled a 254.

And he did not pass out masks for the other bowlers Rumor has it he used a house ball, which now needs to be dumped into the East River.

4 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: A view from the Sun Room rocking chair”

  1. Hal:

    So pleased you are at home. Hang in, Sir. Spring WILL get here.

    Speaking from experience, these expandable grabber tools work real well.

    Feel good for Aaron Boone, but a 9-year contract on Cole, and 100-milion more than what Mr. C bought the Reds for. Don’t blame Cole for taking the cash but money ball getting out of hand. I smell an awful long baseball strike in a couple years.

    Who knows what kind of contract Puig wants but I’d prefer him back in Red over the current rumor list of outfield help apparently being discussed.

  2. Pleased to find your latest offering with the wit and sarcasm we’ve grown to love. Also appreciate your frank and honest take on sports. Just saw Jose Peraza signed with the Red Sox. Thank God you’re back. Merry Christmas to the McCoy household. Been married to a McCoy for 49 great years.

  3. Welcome back, Hal. Sounds like you’re on the mend. Glad to hear we’ve spent money on a limited ranger to play 2B. Merry Christmas you to and your dear wife, Nadine.

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