By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave and all I want for Christmas is an end to the baseball lockout. But it won’t happen because both the owners and the players have been naughty this winter.
—Tom Seaver was always one of my all-time favorites. During Hall of Fame weekends in Cooperstown, he and his best friend, Johnny Bench, always invited Nadine and me to sit with them at various events.
Seaver always was the proverbial ‘Life of the Party,’ quick as a whip with a quip and the owner of a hall of fame sense of humor.
And he shared my views on the way today’s pitchers are handled — 100 pitches or five inning, whichever came first. His feelings are documented in my friend Bill Madden’s excellent book, ‘Tom Seaver, A Terrific Life.’
“It just bugs the hell out of me what they’re doing to starting pitchers now,” he said. “Bugs the hell out of Bob Gibson. Bugs the hell out of Juan Marichal. Bugs the hell out of all of us (Hall of Fame pitchers).
“Pull these kids out of games after five, six innings? These kids don’t know what they’re missing,” he added. “They’ve got a computer making all the decisions on how many innings they’ll pitch.”
Madden asked Seaver how many times he threw more than 100 pitches and he said, “Every time I went out there. I had my own pitch count, maybe 135. Jerru Koosman was probably 140 to 145. Nolan Ryan was probably 150 to 155. I feel for these pitchers today. They have the heart and the guts, but the computer just won’t let them get out of the corral.”
—QUOTE: From former Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson on Tom Seaver: “My idea of managing is giving the ball to Tom Seaver and sitting down and watching him work.”
—Something for the University of Dayton to hang their sneakers on. We all know comparing scores will get you Excedrin Headache No. 43, but. . .
St. Bonaventure was picked to finish first in the Atlantic 10 based on five returning starters from the Bonnies championship team.
Well, snack on this one: Virginia Tech 86, St. Bonaventure 49. Less than a week ago the Flyers beat Virginia Tech, 62-57.
On the other side of the court, remember that stunning and embarrassing UD loss at the Arena to Lipscomb, 78-59? Well, just recently it was Florida State 97, Lipscomb 60
And how are UMass Lowell and Austin Peay doing, the other two lowly-ranked mid-majors that beat the Flyers in UD Arena?
UMass Lowell has lost to the real UMass, Brown and Boston U. Austin Peay has lost to North Florida and South Florida. Fortunately for Austin Peay, West Florida and Eastern Florida State College are not on its schedule.
—They can talk all they want about Steph Curry as a pure shooter, and deservedly so, but I’ll take Pistol Pete Maravich.
During his 83-game career at LSU, he averaged 44 points a game. And that was without the three-point line and some of his shots came from the balcony.
He scored 69 points in a game against Alabama. Somebody watched the film and estimated that 18 of his field goals would be behind today’s three-point arc and that 69-point game would be an 87-point game by today’s standards.
And I saw UD’s Donald Smith score 52 in old Chicago Stadium against Loyola of Chicago and most of his field goals were beyond today’s three-point line. His best game? His coach, the legendary Don Donoher, believes Smith’s 44 against Xavier was his best. Smith made 20 of 25 field goal attempts.
Smith’s 52, scored during the 1972-73 season, still stands as the UD record. He made his first eight shots and buried 22 fields goals. My scorebook ran out of room to record his field goals and my written comments in the margins were, “Wow! Unbelievable! Incredible! Insane! Unstoppable!”
—QUOTE: From former University of Dayton basketball coach Don Donoher on 6-foot-0 guard Donald Smith: “Donald was a great, great basketball player, but in measuring him as a person, his basketball ability would not make the top five. He was a better husband than basketball player, a better father, a better son, brother, teammate and friend.” (There can be no better tribute or measure of a man that this.)
—There is nearly always a ‘signature’ moment in a basketball game and there definitely was one at the Nutter Center Saturday afternoon.
It was a costly temper tantrum by Tennessee Tech coach John Pelphrey. His team trailed Wright State by one, 52-51 with 7:40 left. Pelphrey protested a non-call under the basket and drew a technical foul.
Tanner Holden made both ’T,’ shots and Keaton Norris followed with a ‘3,’ a five-point play that ignited a 16-2 WSU run. And the Raiders held on for a 72-63 much-needed win.
They should send Pelphrey a nice Christmas gift card with the message, “Technically speaking, thank you very much.”
—Love this from my friend Tom Melzoni: “I may not be the most important person in your life. I just hope when you hear my name you smile and say, ‘That’s my friend.’”
—Did I do bad for buying my wife panty hose for Christmas? And why are my clothes strewn all over the driveway?