OBSERVATIONS: Is it time for fans to stage their own lockout?

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after sitting in front of my laptop watching Wright State get it right against Purdue Fort Wayne in the Horizon League opener.

—What’s it all about, Alfie, this baseball lockout? It’s about billionaire owners squabbling with multi-millionaire players over, what else, mostly cash, large piles of cash.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired Wednesday night and with no new agreement in place the owners locked out the players.

Why don’t they just throw away those key now that things are locked up and be done with it? Both parties are killing a game already on a respirator.

On what do the parties disagree? Just about everything, including the color of uniform belts.

It’s the length of free agency eligibility, possibly doing away with salary arbitration, adopting the NBA’s lottery pick draft, how many teams make the playoffs, the designated hitter and not trying to win, tanking as it were.

Are those red faces in the Cincinnati Reds front office, the ones wearing ‘tank’ tops?

During the lockout, teams can’t sign free agents, can’t make trades and can’t contact any players on their 40-man roster in any way.

Isn’t it about time the fans stage their own lockout. . .lock themselves at home and stay away from ball parks? Because of all the greed in the game, ticket prices and concession prices and parking prices are exorbitant. And you can see the game better on TV, anyway.

—QUOTE: From Scottish actor, artist, musician and comedian Billy Connolly: “My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking about the Lone Ranger.” (Do tell? Wonder how many baseball negotiators think William Tell is a free agent shortstop for the Minnesota Twins?)

—Just before the lockout, the Texas Rangers beat the deadline — no free agent signings during a lockout — by signing former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager to a 10-year $325 million deal.

It is a whole lot more than a real Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer, was paid to hunt down and kill Bonnie and Clyde. He was making $150 a month.

—QUOTE: From old-time movie star Lana Turner: “A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.” (Now there is a huge challenge for Corey Seager’s wife.)

—What a wacky world of basketball so far. Ohio State needed a buzzer-beater to beat Akron at home, then beat Duke, the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Buckeyes finished the game on a 12-0 run while the Dukies were as confused as if they were asked to spell coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last name. . .and pronounce it. Every time I say his name my wife says, “Gesundheit.”

—QUOTE: From Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski: “A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist.” (And Ohio State used that fist to punch Duke in the face.)

—University of Dayton basketball fans painfully remember the 78-59 beatdown Lipscomb University put on the Flyers in UD Arena, right?

Lipscomb is from Nashville, Tenn., as is Belmont, the team UD beat, 63-61, in the ESPN Events Invitational.

Well, Lipscomb and Belmont met this week and the score was (need you check?): Belmont 94, Lipscomb 65. They call that game ‘The Battle of the Boulevard,’ and you can find Lipscomb sprawled in a ditch.

—Anybody else notice that the usually forlorn Cleveland Cavaliers are 12-and-10? Me neither. Somebody told me and I looked it up. And after losing 20 straight times in Miami, the Cavs finally beat the Heat in their arena this week, 111-85.

In addition, after losing 15 straight, the Houston Rockets have won four straight. Somebody suggested they might be using the University of Houston roster.

On the NHL front (I looked this one up, too), the Edmonton Oilers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins this week, 5-2. The Oilers hadn’t beaten the Penguins in the previous 19 games (0-15-4).

Speaking of Edmonton, remember when that city’s Canadian Football League team was called the Edmonton Eskimos? They’re the Elks now. There are politically correct advocates in Canada, too.

Did you know that Toronto’s CFL team, the Argonauts, is named after a small female octopus. And Montreal’s CFL team, the Alouettes, is named after a bird, a winged-lark?

—It’s a great week for Cleveland Browns fans. It is a guaranteed no-loss week. It is Cleveland’s bye week, although some fans believe the Brown already have taken a few Sundays off.

—Finally, somebody stood up to China. The Women’s Tennis Association canceled nearly 10 tournaments in China and Hong Kong in support of Chinese player Peng Shuai.

Shuai accused a former high-ranking Chinese government official of sexual assault. She wasn’t seen nor heard from for a couple of weeks. The WTA pulled the tournaments in fear for the safety of Shuai, the other players and officials.

Now if the U.S. government would only stand up to the Chinese. It can use a word in the English vocabulary: “No.”

And that’s my political statement for the year.

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