By HAL McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after watching Aaron Rodgers, missing three receivers, beat unbeaten Arizona. As Stephen A. Smith says, “He’s a bad man.” And ol’ SAS should know something ‘bad.’
—The Cincinnati Reds traded Tucker Barnhart today for a minor league infielder. . .and there are a couple of bad facets to the deal.
First of all, the Reds traded a veteran two-time Gold Glove catcher for Nick Quintana, who has only 140 pro games, all at third base. He was Detroit’s No. 2 draft pick out of the University of Arizona in 2019.
Secondly, it was definitely a salary move and an indicator of where the Reds are going next season.
Said general manager Nick Krall, “. . .Going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system. We are grateful for Tucker’s contributions on the field and in the communities throughout Reds Country. He will be missed.”
Barnhart was a free agent and would cost the Reds a lot of money to keep. Thus the majority of the catching duties falls to second-year player Tyler Stephenson.
And so it begins.
—Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, the guy who yanked the All-Star game out of Atlanta for political reasons, had this to say about the Braves’ nickname and the tomahawk chop.
“The Braves have done a phenomenal job with the Native American community and it is wholly supportive of the Braves’ program, including the chop. For me, that’s the end of the story.”
Apparently, he isn’t listening with both ears. The National Council of American Indians wants the team to drop its nickname and end the chop.
And how about this one? If Native Americans are so against the Cleveland Indians, why is the word still part of the group’s title, The National Council of American Indians?
—With those red pants and red jerseys Ohio State wore against Penn State, they looked like 11 glasses of tomato juice. And they played like tomato cans.
They won, 33-24, but they had six trips inside the red zone and scored one touchdown. They insisted on ramming the ball between the tackles and couldn’t budge the Penn State defensive line.
I kept looking at the sideline to see if somehow Woody Hayes was making a ghostly cameo appearance with his three yards and a cloud of dust offense.
—Ohio State fans harbor no love for Alabama coach Nick Saban, forgetting that he once was an assistant coach at OSU.
The story goes that Saban was fired after the 1989 season because he failed to recruit Napoleon McCallum, a running back from Milford, Ohio.
McCallum went to Navy and was a two-time All-American. The Buckeyes? They had to ‘settle’ for Trotwood’s Keith Byars, who was inducted recently into the College Football Hall of Fame.
My oldest son, Brian, proudly tells people he once tackled Byars in a junior high game. The ‘tackle’ was Brian riding Byars’ back for 20 yards before he finally collapsed under Brian’s weight.
—Ever heard of Texas Wesleyan University? Me neither, until I read a piece by talented Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Mac Engel.
TWU, which has not had a winning football season in 80 years, since 1941, is 5-and-2 so far this year with three games to go. And the Rams don’t even have their own stadium.
It is, though, a bit of a misnomer. TWU dropped football after 1941 and picked it back up in 2017. So the losing seasons are only four years.
This year the NAIA school located in Fort Worth, Tex., has beaten Arizona Christian, Oklahoma Panhandle State, Wayland Baptist, Southwestern Assembly of God and Louisiana College while losing to Ottawa University (Ariz.) and Langston.
How long before Texas Wesleyan shows up on Alabama’s schedule. . .or maybe Michigan’s?
—Name the University of Dayton basketball player on this year’s roster with the most game experience?
Shockingly, it is non-scholarship walk-on Christian Wilson. In three years he has played in 25 games, mostly in blowout games with less than a minute to play.
That’s how young and inexperienced the Flyers are this year.
—Somebody with way too much money spent $1.47 million to buy a pair of smelly game-worn sneakers.
OK, OK, so they were worn by Michael Jordan and they are Nike Air Ships from his rookie season. Hey, the air ship Macon (dirigible) only cost $2.45 million. And it was more than two football fields long.
If anybody is interested, I have a game-worn pair of white Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars that I wore in high school. And not for just one game, for the entire season. They still squeak.
—Speaking of absurdities, somebody placed a $1,000 bet last week, at 125 to 1, that Mike White of the New York Jets would lead all quarterbacks in passing yardage last weekend.
The fact that it was White’s first NFL start makes one wonder if the wagerer was White’s dad or wife. Anyway, White passed for 405 yards against the Bengals and the bettor collected $125,000.
This week, he or she is going to wager that Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow will combine for 1,200 passing yards.
—While there were only 2,153 fans sitting in the rain Saturday at Welcome Stadium, there were two celebrities stalking the sidelines.
Former Ohio State quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett watched UD’s Jack Cook complete 11 of 19 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-31 win over Butler.
—QUOTE: From University of Dayton football coach Rick Chamberlin: “I really did appreciate them taking the time and coming over. That’s exciting for them to come over to a Flyers game and cheer the Flyers from the sideline.”
Cardale Jones is friends with UD receivers coach Jordan Overton.
—Classless act of the week: Inglewood (Calif.) High School defeated Inglewood Morningside, 106-0. Making it even more disgusting was that the Inglewood coach went for two points when the score was 104-0.
Officials asked Inglewood to use a continuous running clock in the second half and were refused. Inglewood quarter Justin Martin, a recent commit to UCLA, threw 13 touchdown passes.
—The ‘Kings’ of running it up is the University of Houston football team. To wit:
*1969: Houston 100, Tulsa 0.
*1989: Houston 95, SMU 21.
*1990: Houston 84, Eastern Washington 21.
*1991: Houston 73, Louisiana Tech 3.
—Have you listened to the commentary of A-Rod on the Fox analysts set? Just call him Captain Obvious. Maybe all those illegal PEDs he consumed affected his brain.
—QUOTE: From Alex Rodriguez: “Anyone can forget about talent, but if you’re a good person, your name will be remembered a long time.” (Being a good person isn’t what people will remember about him.)
—Have you heard about the guy in Norton Shores, Mich., who found 162 bowling balls buried in his yard?
Judging from my past bowling prowess, one of them should have been mine. But it wasn’t. It certainly is better than finding 162 bodies on your property because then you’d have a lot of ‘splainin to do.
—QUOTE: From Michigan attorney Sanford Hansell: “The bowling alley is the poor man’s country club.” (And bowling is better than golf because nobody ever lost a bowling ball.)