By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, forced to finally put on the Man Cave heater and hike up the electric bill because the heater gobbles kilowatts like a hungry man at the Thanksgiving table.
—NOT ROSEY FOR ROSE: As anticipated, Pete Rose’s letter pleading for re-instatement probably has been dropped into File 13 in commissioner Rob Manfraud’s office.
Manfraud remains firmly anti-Rose.
“I believe that when you bet on baseball, from the Major League Baseball perspective, you belong on the permanently ineligible list.”
Manfraud dumped the Hall of Fame issue into the lap the Hall, saying just because Rose is ineligible to work in baseball, MLB has no say over Rose’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
The folks in Cooperstown, though, put in The Pete Rose Rule, making any player banned from baseball ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration.
So the ball is really in The Hall of Fame’s court.
—SIGN OF THE TIMES: Miami’s Sandy Alcantara and Houston’s Justin Verlander both were unanimous choices for the National League and American League Cy Young awards.
One ESPN talking head went ga-ga over the fact that Alcantara pitched six complete games. . .six. He foolishly called him a throwback to Bob Gibson. In the words of John McEnroe, “Are you serious? You can’t be serious.”
In one five-year span Gibson pitched 28, 28, 23, 20 and 23 complete games.
And guess how many complete games Verlander had. Zero, zip, nada.
That, though, is the way the game is played these days. Complete games are as rare as a snowstorm in Miami or Houston.
—QUOTE: From long ago manager Bill Terry, who was 100 years ahead of his time in the 1920s: “Baseball must be a great game to survive the fools who run it.” (To think, when he said that Rob Manfraud wasn’t born yet.)
—IT HAPPENS: The University of Dayton basketball team, losers to UNLV Tuesday night, can take solace in what happened to No. 2 ranked Gonzaga Wednesday night in Austin, Tex.
The Zags had all four tires shot out by the Longhorns, 93-74. Texas came close to becoming the first team since 2010 to beat Gonzaga by 20 or more points.
Texas is ranked No. 11, but they might be able to remove one of those ‘1s’ because the ‘Horns are awesome. They beat No. 9 ranked Arkansas in a no-count charity game, 90-60. And they’ve beaten UTEP, 72-57, and Houston Christian, 82-31.
The ‘Horns forced 20 Gonzaga turnovers (Sound familiar, UD?). Tyrese Hunter, a finalist last year for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, turned on the offense button against the Zags with a career-best 26 points He made 5 of 8 three-pointers.
Gonzaga plays Kentucky Sunday and both basketball blue bloods are coming off losses. Kentucky lost to Michigan State Tuesday in double overtime.
—QUOTE: From former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy: “If you defend, rebound and limit turnovers, you’re going to put yourself in a position to win games.” (UD led UNLV by 10 at halftime, but in the second half the Flyers didn’t defend, didn’t rebound and finished with 24 turnovers, the recipe for the defeat they tasted.)
—IT HAPPENS II: Northern Kentucky played Cincinnati-Clermont, a satellite school to the University of Cincinnati in Batavia. The Norse won, 89-49. Using that as a prep, NKU then took on UC-Clermont’s daddy, the real University of Cincinnati, and won, 64-51. UC was 3-and-0 at the time.
That game drew the attention of fellow Horizon League member Wright State after beating Bowling Green, 80-71.
Amari Davis, a transfer and product of Trotwood-Madison, scored 19 points and snagged seven rebounds. If he gets in the lane, he scores. He was 8 for 13 and didn’t take a three-point shot.
Guard Trey Calvin, a human water bug, is all over the floor at warp speed and scored 15 on 7 of 12 shooting, 6 for 8 on two-point shooting. Calvin is as versatile as a monkey wrench, with just as many twists.
Most impressive, though, is one of those big guys who do the dirty work under the basket. Brandon Noel, a 6-foot-8 red shirt freshman from Lucasville, came off the bench and produced a double-double — 10 points and 11 rebounds.
—QUOTE: From former NBA star Moses Malone on rebounding: “I never thought I’d lead the NBA in rebounding, but I got a lot of help from my teammates because they did a lot of missing.”
—IT HAPPENS III: And did you see what happened to No. 24 Michigan in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn? Unranked Arizona bound and gagged the Wolverines, 87-62.
—SNOW ANGELS: Wonder if Cleveland Browns running back NIck Chubb has some Abominable Snowman in him? Well, we won’t find out Sunday when the Browns face the Buffalo Bills. The National Weather Bureau predict there will be four to six feet of snow on the ground in Orchard Park, N.Y. That’s feet, not inches.
So Sunday’s game has been moved to Ford Field in Detroit, the indoor home of the Lions, who are playing out of town. Same time, 1 p.m.
—FALSE START: Remember how amazed I was to discover that the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers started the season 8-and-1. The amazement is gone. The Cavaliers are back to normalcy. . .a five-game losing streak.
—STATELY NAMES: There are several pro sports franchises that don’t identify themselves with a city and mostly use a state’s name. How many are there?
^MLB: Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers.
^NFL: Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots.
^NBA: Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors.
^NHL: Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche.
Minneapolis has franchises in all four sports and all four use Minnesota instead of Minneapolis. My guess is that St. Paul, a single, a line plunge, a slap shot and a layup away from Minneapolis, would protest the use of Minneapolis.
—QUOTE: From Will Rogers: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” (As do I so I can re-unite with every dog I’ve ever had — Whitey, Corky, Pal, Muggs, Roxy, Brandy, Barkley, Cooper and my current dogs. . .Paige, Quinn and Parker.)