By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave….
—Baseball’s ruination continues down a destructive basepath.
After 48 years of resistance, National League owners caved. They approved the use of the designated hitter, the player who carries a glove for no apparent reason.
It probably was inevitable. With unbalanced leagues, 15 teams in each league, there has to be an interleague game nearly every night. So both leagues need to play by the same rules.
The perfect solution to that would be to abolish interleague games, But implementing interleague games was another story about another step they took to impinge the game and take away some of the World Series mystique.
More and more it is becoming fake baseball, an abomination of what the game once was.
The excuse, of course, is that nobody wants to see pitchers walk to the plate carrying a bat for no apparent reason. That’s not entirely true, however. There are many pitchers who know that the knob of the bat is the part closest to the hands.
The worst part about the DH is the strategy it removes from the game, many less decisions for a manager. He makes hardly no decisions on pinch-hitting. In most game, a manager can sit in the dugout and and whittle.
To me, baseball’s DH is like having a DFTS in basketball. . .a designated free throw shooter. When a foul is called, the DFTS rushes off the bench and takes the free shots.
I can see it coming. . .a designated runner. But even then he won’t steal bases because analytics say it’s poor strategy.
Ridiculous? Yes. So is the DH, a guy who goes up into the clubhouse and drinks coffee between at bats. And the manager can join him.
—QUOTE: From anonymous: “How cool it is when Steve Avery drives in three runs with a triple to help his own cause in the post season. Now that’s baseball.” (And how cool is it when pitcher Tony Cloninger hits two grand slams in one game and when pitcher Rick Wise pitches a no-hitter and hits two home runs in a game against the Reds. Now that’s baseball.)
—So all the pundits were right. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow needed a burrow to crawl in to hide from the Los Angeles Rams pass rush.
Burrow was buried seven times because his offensive line is weaker than was France’s Maginot Line. Not only was Burrow sacked seven times, he suffered a knee injury on what sack. Unless the Bengals fix the sieve that is the offensive line, Burrow is going to end up with double knee replacement surgery.
And when it was crunch time in the last minute, the Bengals got crunched. They could not convert and third-and-one and a fourth-and-one and on fourth-and-one Aaron Donald was draped on Burrow’s back when he flung a wild desperation pass.
In summation, it was incredible that the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl with an offensive line couldn’t stop a front four consisting of Wally Peepers, Stan Laurel, Sheldon Cooper and the Tin Man.
—Let’s put on a gag on it about the officiating. Yes, it was bad. . .on both sides. Those calls on LA’s game-winning drive against the Bengals were dubious, at best. But don’t forget that Tee Higgins got away with a face mask against defensive back Jalen Ramsey on the 75-yard touchdown pass to open the second half. It works both ways.
—So do we expect mattress prices to rise to an ungodly price? ‘Mattress Mack,’ the Houston furniture salesman, lost $9.5 million when he bet on the Bengals. If the Bengals had won, Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale would have won $16.1 million.
Hey, don’t feel sorry for him. He knows how to cover his bets. Before the game, he made an offer to customers: If the Bengals won, he would reimburse every customer who bought furniture from him.
He hoped to sell $20 million in mattresses, sofas, dining room tables, beds, end tables, lamps. . .whatever. So, if the Bengals won, he had money to pay his customers. But, the Bengals lost, so he keeps to keep all the money he made in sales. Talk about convoluted.
—A final Super Bowl word. . .I’ve heard people say the halftime hip hop concert was the best halftime show ever. Are you kidding me?
While rappers Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Drake might be considered super entertainers, the lyrics of their ‘songs’ that disparage women and talk about shooting police officers is abhorrent.
Remember Cher, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen? I guess at my age I’m not in the NFL’s target market.
—At a speaking engagement, Eric Davis said, “Once you can’t hit any more home runs or strike any more guys out, trust me, they forget about you.”
I would trust Eric the Red with my wallet, my checkbook and my credit cards, all worth about $23. But one of my all-time favorite Cincinnati Reds player won’t ever be forgotten by any true baseball aficionado.
He hates the comparison, but it’s true. If anybody could have become the next Willie Mays, it was him. But a plethora (word of the day) of injuries threw a bag of monkey wrenches into his career.
—The NFL’s Rooney Rule is a not-so-funny joke. It stipulates that when a team is looking for a coach it must interview a minority.
It doesn’t say it has to hire one, just interview one. So teams interview one token minority to cover its butt and hires a good ol’ boy.
The Rooney Rules is the same as if Nadine put asparagus on the dinner table every night and made me look at it. But I never had to eat it.
—How cool is it that both local college basketball teams began the season like the basketball was square and are now competing for league titles?
Wright State, with a tough opening schedule, started 2-and-7, including a public mugging it took at Purdue. Even though the Raiders lost two gamers over the weekend they beat North Carolina State in Raleigh, and are within a short reach of first place in the Horizon League.
Dayton, with an easy opening schedule, started 1-and-3, with losses at home to Larry, Curly and Mo (UMass Lowell, Lipscomb, Austin Peay). Now, after wins against Virginia Tech, Kansas, Miami (Fla.) and Belmont, the Flyers are a short jump (no hop or skip needed) away from first place in the Atlantic 10.
Scott Nagy, Anthony Grant. . .link arms and take a deep bow and may the trail lead to league titles.
—This one probably came from an envious Pittsburgh Steelers fan: “Why are Cincinnati Bengals fans complaining so much about the cost of Super Bowl tickets? They had 33 years to save up.”
—Now that umpire Joe West has retired, MLB should force Angel Hernandez into retirement and then hire Frank Drebin from the movie ‘Naked Gun.’ Drebin’s calls were about as accurate as most made by Hernandez.