OBSERVATIONS: Another ‘problem’ surfaces for MLB

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, awaiting delivery of a new chair from Ashley Furniture that was due earlier this week. But we were told to, uh, “Expect delivery in late March. . .maybe.” Apparently they ran out of thumb tacks.

—As if baseball doesn’t have enough problems with the lockout, absurd rules changes and fan abandonment, something else surfaced that MLB can’t sweep under the AstroTurf.

MLB is under scrutiny to see how it reacts to the Los Angeles Angels scandal, the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs from fentanyl usage. He drowned in his own vomit.

A court case found Angels communications director Eric Kay guilty of supplying fentanyl to players and he could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Several players testified, including teammate Matt Harvey, formerly of the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. Harvey admitted to using cocaine. Harvey, C.J. Cron, Mike Morin and Cameron Bedrosian testified that Kay had provided them with fentanyl pills. Bedrosian, a pitcher, appeared in six games last season for the Reds.

The trial revealed that Skaggs used the clubhouse bathroom to grind fentanyl into powder on a dispenser and snorted it. How many Angels knew this? How many of them did it?

MLB stayed clear of the mess, saying federal drug enforcement was handling it. Now that the trial is over, will MLB conduct a major investigation? Is the use of fentanyl rampant in MLB clubhouses? How about cocaine? Certainly Matt Harvey isn’t The Lone User.

As they say, stay tuned. . .and hold your breath.

—Who was the best pitcher of all-time? Cy Young? Walter Johnson? Bob Feller? Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson? Roger Clemens? Clayton Kershaw?

Not even close.

The best was softball pitcher Eddie Feigner. Try hitting his 100 miles an hour fastball thrown from 43 feet? In one exhibition game at Dodger Stadium, he struck out Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew and Will McCovey in succession. And he also struck out Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson. That’s five all of Famers.

And his ‘team’ consisted of a catcher, first baseman and shortstop. He pitched for 55 years, from 1946 to 2000. He won 9,743 games, struck out 141,517 batters, threw 830 no-hitters and 238 perfect games.

Wonder why Bill Veeck or Charlie Finley never tried to sign him to see what he could do from 60 feet, 6 inches. What a submarine pitcher he would have been, right?

—QUOTE: From Eddie ‘The King’ Feigner, answering a taunt: “I would play you with only my catcher.” (And he often did.)

—How in the name of Mrs. James Naismith does this happen during a women’s college basketball game? The University of Connecticut outscored Xavier, 37-0, a few days ago in the Cintas Center. . .a 37-point run.

The score went from 25-19 to 65-19. UConn won, 89-55.

Most likely, after the game Xavier’s defensive coach was wandering Victory Parkway babbling almost incoherently, “Which way did they go, which way did they go?” Straight to the basket they went. . .UConn went straight to the basket.

—So we thought the University of Dayton basketball team had a backcourt of Jekyll and Hyde early this season?

How about Wright State now? After scoring an impressive and crucial victory at Oakland Friday night, the Raiders strolled into Detroit Mercy Sunday afternoon to play a team that was 11-13 and 8-6 in the Horizon League.

Mercy showed no mercy. The Titan led by as many was 26 in the second half before holding off a late Wright State rush for an 80-75 victory.

It was a staggering blow to the Raiders, dropping them to 13-7 in the Horizon and placing them on the bubble toward getting a bye in the league tournament. They have must-win games left against Youngstown State and Robert Morris and then have to cross all their fingers and toes.

—QUOTE: From former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight: “Good basketball always starts with good defense.” (And in Xavier’s case, it ended with bad defense. . .or no defense.)

—The NASCAR boys fired up their engines this week for the Daytona 500 to see who could complete the 500 miles with the fewest dents.

During a pre-race interview, they were poking fun at former star Tony Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg. He has won 11 races at Daytona International Speedway, but not the ‘500.’

Said Stewart of his competitive juices, “I’d run over my mother to win a race. I’d run over your mother to win a race.”

It reminded me of one of Pete Rose’s favorite sayings: “I’d run through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.” I checked Men’s Warehouse and Joseph Bank and both said they don’t have gasoline suits in stock.

—Speaking of Pete Rose, I love playing blackjack and love horse racing, so I’ve kept quiet on the subject of gambling. But. . .

How hypocritical is it that Major League Baseball has slipped under the covers with gambling. It has made a deal with Bally’s as MLB’s official gambling partner.

They banned Rose for life for betting on his team, the Cincinnati Reds, but now they tell fans, “Plunk down a few bucks on your favorite team.” Maybe commissioner Rob Manfred should be banned for life. PLEASE.

—What’s with Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard? Is he a basketball coach or is he a UFC-wannabe?

After his team lost to Wisconsin last week, Howard tried to ignore Wisconsin coach Greg Gard in the handshake line. Gard stopped him and a mouth-to-mouth loud discussion ensued. Howard waved a finger in Gard’s face and soon a shoving match broke out before Howard took an open-handed swing at Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft.

That ignited a brawl with players and coaches swinging at each other. The cause? Gard, leading by 15 points, called a timeout with 15 seconds left in the game.

So what? It isn’t against the rules. Gard could call a timeout with one second left, if he chose. And it wasn’t Howard’s first rodeo. During last season’s Big Ten tournament, Howard and then Maryland coach Mark Turgeon engaged in a loud words competition and Howard was ejected.

Sounds as if somebody is a hot candidate for anger management.

—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe on former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis: “Ray Lewis is the type of guy that if he were in a fight with a bear, I wouldn’t help him. I’d pour honey on him because he likes to fight.” (Maybe the Big Ten should put Juwan Howard in a cage with ol’ Br’er Bear.)

2 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: Another ‘problem’ surfaces for MLB”

  1. Yeah – MLB and gambling – gollee, what happened to their moral superiority? As fitting, Cincy has a great baseball HOF where Rose & other stars are enshrined. Who needs Cooperstown?

  2. Juwan Howard should be fired for his continued BS in games. And each time he gets outa line, the sincerest apology always comes forth & all is well.

    I distinctly recall Woody Hayes immediately getting fired by The Ohio State University for pinching a Clemson player during a bowl game. Apology notwithstanding.

    I see some racial disparity here.

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