By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wishing all my loyal and wonderful readers a Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas and may Santa Claus fill your stockings with all your hopes and dreams as he has done for me.
—DODGER DOMINANCE: How did the common folks in years long gone root for U.S. Steel, Standard Oil or the New York Central? They didn’t. How do you root for Cornelius Vanderbilt or John D. Rockefeller or Scrooge McDuck. You didn’t.
So how, now, do you root for the Los Angeles Dodgers, unless you are a long-time fan of a frachise that once was called the Brooklyn Bums. You don’t.
It’s a team throwing around the kind of money that once overflowed from every pocket of Vanderbilt’s and Rockefeller’s tuxedo britches.
Like those scions of the past, the Dodgers are trying to corner the market, drive everybody else out of business. It’s capitalism at its lowest common denominator.
And here’s hoping the Dodgers fall flat on their bank statements.
It was expected that one of the New York teams, the Yankees or the Mets, would sign Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Yeah, right. As long as the Dodgers are lurking in the shadows with more money than the Bank of America, nothing is for sure.
And, yes, the Dodgers slinked in and signed Y.Y. to a 12-year $325 milllion deal. That means, with the $700 million the Dodgers gave Shohei Ohtani and the $325 million they handed Yamamoto, they have a billion bucks invested in two players.
The franchise should change its colors from Dodger Blue to Dodger Green.
Yep, the Dodgers certainly have a ‘yen,’ a lot of yen, for Japanese players. How did they miss on Sadaharu Oh or Ichiro?
Remember when the Cincinnati Reds traded for pitcher Vida Blue from the Oakland A’s for $1.75 million and first baseman Dave Revering? But commissioner Bowie Kuhn said no because, “It is not in the best interests of baseball.” He was talking about the cash, not Revering.
Hey, commissioner Rob Manfred. How is what the Dodgers are doing is in the best interests of anybody but the Dodgers?
—QUOTE: From TV character Archie Bunker, the worlds’ biggest bigot: “In 1947, when they let Jackie Robinson into baseball, it changed the whole complexion of the game.”
—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux: “No need to steal the signs. I’ll tell you what I throw. It’s an 89 milles an hour sinker and you won’t even swing at it.” (And if they did, they swung and missed or beat a weak grounder to the shortstop.)
—THIS MAKES SENSE My great friend and talented Huntington Herald-Dispatch sports columnist Chuck Landon raised a great question. He asked it in his column after Marshall took a 35-17 beating in the Frisco Bowl.
And it applies to all these 6-and-6 schools going to these pseudo-bowls designed to fill time on ESPN.
Wrote Landon: “When is a bowl game not really a bowl game? When the attendance is announced as a paltry 11,215 in the Frisco Bowl.
With that being the case and MU’s circumstances of taking only 50 band members and 25 cheerleaders/dance team members to the Frisco Bowl because Marshall obviously was in tough financial straits, it raises a rather obvious question:
“Was it really worth it for Marshall to go to this bowl game?” (These pre-Christmas ‘bowl’ games don’t bowl me over.)
—LOTS OF ‘Ls’ IN DETROIT: There is no ‘L’ in Detroit Pistons, right? Wrong.
How bad are the NBA’s Pistons? Bad, bad, bad. And did I mention bad.
It is not so much that they’ve lost 25 straight games, it is how they do it. Take last week, for example.
Not only did the Pistons lose at home to the Utah Jazz, 119-111, the Jazz played without four of its top seven scorers and still won.
Fans were screaming, “Sell the team, sell the team.” That would be like buying a cone with no ice cream in it.
Said Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, “We’re not 2-26 bad, no way are we that bad.” (Ahem, Cade. Oh, yes you are.)
—HE’S STAYING: Last December, a wide receiver from Florida made a verbal commitment to Ohio State, the College of Receivers.
Jeremiah Smith is listed as the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation. But college sports being what they are, several schools tried to steal him away. Florida and Florida State visited his home in an effort to dissuade him from OSU. And Miami made a try, too.
But this week Smith informed Ohio State that he is still coming to Columbus. He knows about Ohio State receivers. Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigbo were all No. 1 NFL draft picks and Marvin Harrison Jr. wil be.
Wonder how much dinero it cost to keep him and how much it will cost in the future to keep him? But that’s how the jelly rolls in major collegiate ‘sports’ these days. The star players are mercenaries.
—THE TOILET BOWL: For the last few years I have proposed another of the endless football bowls — the Toilet Bowl in Flushing, NY, matching the two worst college teams of the year.
This year, it would be two schools less than 10 miles apart and sadly (blush, blush) one is my alma mater, Kent State (1-11). And the opponent would be (blush, blush. . .my hometown) Akron (2-10). It would be a rematch because they played this season and Akron ‘lucked out,’ 31-27.
One can’t blame Kent State head coach Sean Lewis for quitting after the 2022 season to become offensive co-ordinator for Deion Sanders at Colorado.
This game could have been played in the Akron Rubber Bowl, a 35,202-seat stadium with all hard wood bleacher seats. . .but it was sadly demolished a few years ago.
I grew up less than a mile from the Rubber Bowl and learned how to sneak in to games — the University of Akron home games, high school doubleheaders on Friday nights and NFL exhibition games.
And my friends and I used to sneak in and play touch and tackle football games and kick extra points.
We used to get our footballs during games by standing in the closed-in seats at one end. When extra points were kicked into the stands, we fought for the ball and when we got it, we raced up the stands and over a fence and out of the stadium.
Yes, I was a petty thief. . .with very nice footballs to play with.
—FOR THE SOUL: Sometimes when I watch a football or basketball game, I turn down the sound and listen to music on my cellphone.
On Saturday I listened to some of my all-time favorites:
Power of Love (Laura Branigan), A Love So Beautiful (Roy Orbison), He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today (George Jones), You Were Always On My Mind (Elvis Presley), I Will Do Anything For Love (Meat Loaf), My Way (Elvis Presley), Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? (George Jones), Why Me Lord? (Kris Kristofersson), Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler), I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston), I Want To Know What Love Is (Foreigner).
And while I listened, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-11. I should have listened to Daniel Powter’s ‘You Had a Bad Day.’