By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after getting my second vaccine inoculation. . .with zero after effects. Can I stop wearing a mask? No? OK.
—Michigan (No. 3) and Ohio State (No. 4) displayed college basketball at its finest Sunday afternoon in Columbus, both presenting strong and stern cases for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
It was a typical Big Ten basketball brawl. There were more bodies on the floor than after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. And both teams shot like William Tell, both above 50 per cent.
The Buckeyes got a career-best 30 points from Duane Washington, plus 23 points and 10 rebounds from E.J. Liddell. And that wasn’t enough in a game that saw 18 lead changes and eight ties.
Michigan got 22 points and nine rebounds from 7-foot-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson and four over Wolverines in double figures. Dickinson plays around the rim as if he made a down payment on it.
Michigan 92, Ohio State 87.
OSU made a fatal mistake with 2 1/2 minutes left when it was down three points. A player made a lackadaisical behind-the-back pass that was intercepted and turned into a three-point play, giving Michigan a six-point lead and the Buckeyes never recovered.
—QUOTE: From former Chicago White Sox pitcher Ken Brett: “Our team was so bad that by the fifth inning they were selling hot dogs to go.”
—MLB continues on its Journey of the Absurd, this time tinkering with how exhibition games are played during spring training.
Beginning with the first games this spring and until March 13, all games will be seven innings, not nine. And get this. If both managers agree, the games can be shortened to five innings. Or, by mutual agreement, they can play nine.
Beginning on March 14, the games will be nine innings. Maybe. By mutual agreement, those games can be shortened to seven innings.
So fans (some teams are allowing fans) might see five innings, might see seven innings or might see nine innings.
Do you think ticket prices will be modified? Doubt it.
—QUOTE: From Jimmy Dugan, the manager played by Tom Hanks in ‘A League of Their Own:’ “Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.” (Yeah, whether it be five, seven or nine innings.)
—During their run in the American League, the St. Louis Browns were known mostly as the squatter’s rights owner of last place. They were so bad they should have been known as the St. Louis Hash Browns.
The only thing most people remember is that owner Bill Veeck sent a midget, 3-foot-7 inch Eddie Gaedel, up to bat. And they once had a one-armed outfielder named Pete Gray.
One other noteworthy was in 1953 when 30-year-old rookie Bobo Holloman pitched a no-hitter in his first major league start. Then he won only two more games during his one-year career and was 3-and-7.
And how about first baseman Ed Mickelson? Who? He is the ultimate trivia question.
He was the last St. Louis Browns batter to drive in a run at the end of the 1953 season before the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.
The significance of Mickelson was that he was a Bobo Holloman clone. He had an 11-year pro career, but played in only 18 major league games. Other than his hit for the final Browns RBI he had only two other hits in the majors. He was 3 for 37, an .081 average.
—QUOTE: From former Indians, Browns and White Sox owner Bill Veeck: “In 1951, in a moment of madness, I became owner and operator of a collection of old rags and tags known to baseball historians as the St. Louis Browns.”
—Did any of us left handers know that baseball’s last left handed 20-game winner was in 1978. . .Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees? There have only been six since expansion in 1961: Sandy Koufax (three times in the mid-sixties), Whitey Ford in 1961, Jim Kaat in 1966, Mickey Lolich in 1971, Steve Carlton in 1972 and Guidry
—QUOTE: From pitcher Jim Kaat, who didn’t throw hard enough to bruise a ripe banana, but pitched 25 years and won 283 games: ”ll never be considered one of the all-time greats and maybe not even one of the all-time goods. But I’m one of the all-time survivors.”
—This comes from PFF Fantasy Football and is a bit of a shocker when one sees who is No. 3. The top three quarterbacks on completed passes 20 yards or more are. . .Tom Brady at 46.3 per cent, Patrick Mahomes at 46.2 per cent and. . .wait for it. . .Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns at 46.0 per cent. So, go deep, Browns, go deep.
—The guy who invented butane lighters obviously never had to re-fill one. The creep should be made to travel the country re-fueling those suckers.