By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, trying to avoid all talk of red and blue, unless he pertains to the University of Dayton football and basketball programs.
—Ken Davidoff of the New York Post says he knows somebody in the baseball industry who knows Trevor Bauer very well. The guy said, “Trevor will go with the offer that has the highest digits.”
Bauer, of course, turned down the $18.9 million one-year qualifying offer from the Reds, but said he is willing to talk to the Reds about returning. The ‘talk’ begins at about $30 million a year.
Davidoff’s prediction: San Diego Padres, six years, $150 million. That’s $25 million a year, $11 million annually less than Gerit Cole. Is that enough, Trevor?
—With the mammoth revenue losses baseball is claiming, especially from small market teams, a slew of arbitration-eligible players are expected to be non-tendered, making them free agents.
The Reds have at least four solid candidates to be non-tendered.
ONE: Pitcher Archie Bradley, who didn’t contribute much last year due to injuries and would draw a big number in Arbitration.
TWO: Curt Casali, who is expendable because the Reds have Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart and former No. 1 draft pick Tyler Stephenson is ready.
THREE: Brian Goodwin, who was brought in late last season and did nothing to insert himself into the already crowded outfield mix.
FOUR: Pitcher Robert Stephenson, who has been inconsistent his entire career and, actually, his only consistency is that he is usually not very good.
–A web-site called living.alot.com put together what it called the 44 top jerks all-time in sports. One problem. The author, Matt Propst, doesn’t know how to spell Roger Clemens and Bill Belichick.
He did, however, correctly spell the easy ones like Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Ty Cobb.
The list, and explanations, are completely arbitrary and easily dismissed as, “So what?”
—QUOTE: From comic strip cartoonist Bill Watterson: “In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.” (Has he checked with the original ‘Jerk,’ Steve Martin?)
—Ohio State was an early-line 37 1/2-point favorite over Rutgers. I wouldn’t give 37 1/2 points to Wright State and the Raiders don’t even have a football team.
The largest spread in Las Vegas history occurred in 2012, one week after Savannah State lost to Oklahoma State, 84-0.
Savannah State was a 70 1/2-point underdog to Florida State. The Seminoles were well on their way to covering when there was Divine Intervention. FSU was leading, 55-0, with nine minutes left in the third quarter when lightning began dancing across the sky.
The game, which already was being played with a running clock (no stoppage), was stopped and Florida State was declared a 55-0 winner.
And several bettors who took FSU and gave the 70 1/2 points were poised on the railings of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
And the team spotted the most points to actually win? In 2017, Howard University was 45 1/2-point underdog to UNLV. Final: Howard 43, UNLV 40. How fitting was it that the game was played in Las Vegas?
—QUOTE: From Alabama-Birmingham athletic director Mark Ingram on why he decided his idea of having a live Komodo dragon as a mascot was stopped: “Children getting spit on and paralyzed and eaten, potentially, by the Komodo dragon. I thought it seemed like a great idea, but apparently it’s not as good of an idea as I once thought.”
—With the presidential election dominating so many lives this week, how about some home runs by presidential tenures, as recorded by Baseball Almanac?
The most home run hit during one president’s time in office is the 353 hit by Jimmie Foxx during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s tenure.
Second is Ken Griffey Jr.’s 351 hit while Bill Clinton was in office.
Dayton’s Mike Schmidt holds the distinction of hitting the most home runs during three different administrations: 87 for Gerald Ford, 152 for Jimmy Carter and 259 for Ronald Reagan.
—QUOTE: From President Richard Nixon, a huge baseball fans: “ “I never leave a game before the last pitch, because in baseball, as in life and especially politics, you never know what will happen.” (He didn’t realize it, but he certainly was talking about this year’s presidential election. And Hank Aaron hit 218 home runs during the Nixon administration, most by any player.)
—The Mid-American Conference began its football season Wednesday night and if you missed the Miami-Ball State game on CBSSports you missed some outstanding MACtion.
First of all, Miami’s top two running backs from last season are injured and couldn’t play. Secondly, starting quarterback Brett Gabbert left the game midway through the first quarter after helmet-to-helmet contact and the ejection of the Ball State offender.
So what happened? Back-up quarterback A.J. Mayer, a red-shirt sophomore stepped in and threw for 212 yards (16 for 24) and three touchdowns. And third-team running back Zack Kahn scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner from two yards out with 10 seconds left. Miami 38, Ball State 31.
MORAL: Never underestimate the emotional drive of players given an unexpected chance to do something big.
—QUOTE: From Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher on recruiting: “I ain’t seen nobody win the Kentucky Derby with a donkey.” (And Miami’s Chuck Martin obviously recruits thoroughbreds.)
—Screamin’ Stephen (A. Smith) has been a big-time critic of the Cincinnati Bengals — the players, coaches, front office — when he isn’t making fun of the Dallas Cowboys.
This is what S.A.S. said before the Bengals drafted quarterback Joe Burrow:
“I get so sick and tired of all of these folks sitting around talking about ‘Oh, Cincinnati is not that bad.’ Here’s the reality. That organization is not a great organization. They’ve done nothing to show us otherwise.”
He showed what a front-runner he is when he actually praised the Bengals after their win over Tennessee by tweeting:
“I can’t believe what I’m about to say, but I really like what I’m seeing from (the) Bengals right now. I’m impressed. With their QB and their coach. But keep that to yourself.”
Actually, I can’t believe anything that he is about to say or he has already said.