OBSERVATIONS: Garvey Just Wants To Be George Washington

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, nursing tennis elbow from pumping out so many of these, along with University of Dayton basketball stories and the beginning of this year’ss Ask Hal column. . .but what else do I have to do?

—POLITICAL FIRST BASEMAN: During his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, first baseman Steve Garvey always was political. . .he always said what was politically correct. He seemed as patriotic as Old Glory and the bald eagle and was as American as George Washington. He probably could sing the national anthem backwards.

Now he wants to be George Washington. He is 75 and wants to be a professional politician. He won the California primary for senator. He is a Republican running for the seat made vacant when Dianne Feinstein died at age 90.

The 10-time All-Star, who stood at first base applauding in his glove after Pete Rose’s 4,192nd career hit, has been a huckster for McDonald’s, Gillette, Pepsi-Cola and Chevrolet.

He never bangs the drum slowly, just loudly.

—QUOTE: From Steve Garvey and no truer words ever came out of a ballplayer’s mouth: “The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back. “

—LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan conducted his own version of the Father-Son game. He struck out fathers and then later in his career he struck out sons.

The victims: Sandy Alomar Sr. and Sandy Alomar Jr., Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr., Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds, Tito Francona and Terry Francona, Hal McRae and Brian McRae, Tony Perez and Eduardo Perez, Ducky Schofield and Dick Schofield.

—WHAT MORALS, WHAT VALUES?: Quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner in 2010 after his freshman year at Texas A&M, was a monumental bust in the NFL. He often took a seat during games to rest his interceptions.

The Cleveland Browns paid $8.2 million for his signature and that’s about all they got from him.

He is making news now by saying he is boycotting the Heisman Awards ceremony until Reggie Bush’s award is returned. Bush, the 2005 award winner, was stripped of the Heisman after it was revealed that Bush accepted cash, free travel and a house in San Diego for his family.

“Doesn’t sit right with my morals and values that
Reggie can’t be on that stage with us every year,” Manziel posted on social media.

Manziel admitted that after he was cut by the Browns he went to Las Vegas and did cocaine so heavily he lost 40 pounds.

Oh, yeah. Morals and values are synonomous with cocaine.

—FORWARD-LY LOOKING: The University of Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II is on the Final Fiive list for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.

His competition is Kyle Filipowski (Duke), Enrique Freeman (Akron), Jaden Lee (San Diego State), Great Osborne (Utah State).

That’s all well and good, and congratulations to Holmes, but power forward? Isn’t he a post player, a center? Holmes spends most of his time within his long reach of the rim, with occasional wanderings to the top of the lane to set screens or to shoot a three now-and-then.

He also has been known to grab a rebound and dribble up the court himself, so maybe he should be a candidate for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award.

–QUOTE: From NBA star Karl Malone, known as The Mailman because he always delivered: “Inside the paint is where men are made. If you can’t play there, you should be home with your mama.”

—FOR PETE’S SAKE: Somebody reported that former LSU coach Dale Brown charrted every shot Pete Maravich took at LSU. Supposedly, if there had been a three-point line at the time, Maravich would have averaged 57 points a game and scored 4,721 points.

That’s probably true, but Brown was not Maravich’s coach. Pete’s father, Press, was his coach. Let’s assume Dale Brown had access to films of Pete’s games and be done with it.

Pete Maravich was all basketball all the time. He didn’t know Gabby Hayes from Rutherford B. Hayes from Woody Hayes. But you can wager he knew who Elvin Hayes was.

—QUOTE: From Pete Maravich, who was mostly an unhappy human being: “I accomplished what I set out to do, but I lost my discipline and my career. My career was mostly negative.”

—HE BECAME A HACK: Ever hear the name Hacksaw Reynolds, a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers? When he played at the University of Tennessee his name was Jack Reynolds. It was rumored he was so tough he set his own broken fingers and pulled his own teeth.

He didn’t like to lose and who does, but he took it to a high level. After the Volunteers lost one game, he stormed home, took a hack saw and sawed his ’53 Chevy in half.

And forever after he was Hacksaw Reynolds.

—THREE AND FLEE: They say (I’ve often wondered who ‘they’ is) one of the most difficult things to do is beat a team three times in one basketball season.

Wright State can tell you all about it. The Raiders beat Northern Kentucky twice during the regular season. And when the Norse came calling at the Nutter Center for the Horizon League tournament, Wright State full-throttled its way to a 19-2 lead.

It looked as if the Raiders could mail it in the rest of the way without a stamp. Unbelievably, the Raiders lost, 99-97, in overtime. Believe it.

—YOU BETCHA: With all the coast-to-coast legalized sports betting, it was inevitable. A group called U.S. Integrity is checking into the outcome of the UAB-Temple basketball game.

UAB opened as a 1 1/2-point favorite. By game time the line was UAB by 7 1/2, a huge jump. And UAB, originally 1 1/2-point favorites, won by 28, 100-72. And it is the second time there was a huge line movement involving a Temple. It was when the Owls lost to Memphis, 84-77.

—QUOTES: They used Mother English in humorous ways:

From noted author and not-so-noted pitcher Jim Bouton: “Baseball statistics are about as interesting as first base coaches.”

From pitcher Joe Magrane: “I knew I was in trouble when they started clocking my fastball with a sun dial.”

From Jim Essian after hitting his first MLB home run: “I wanted to go into my home run trot, but realized I didn’t have one.”

From Boston pitcher Dennis Lamp: “In one game our manager told us to stay out of double plays and we did. We hit into two triple plays.”

From manager Tommy Lasorda on the Dodgers having three trainers: “When I broke in, we had one trainer who carried a bottle of rubbing alcohol and by the seventh inning he had drank it all.”

From former coach Rich Donnelly, who gave an outstanding speech at Wright State’s First Pitch baseball dinner: “Mark McGwire hit a pop-up so high against us that before it came down all nine of our players called for it.”

—PLAYLIST NO. 27: Songs: Songs, songs, songs and more songs:

Cat’s In The Cradle (Harry Chapin), Long Train Runnin’ (Doobie Brothers), Logical Song (Supertramp), Stumblin’ (Suzi Cuatro), Lovely Day (Bill Withers), Crazy (Patsy Cline), How Do I Get You Alone? (Heart), Rhythm Of The Rain (The Cascades).

On The Radio (Donna Summers), The Winner Takes It All (Abba), Turn Around (Bonnie Tyler), You Are The Reason (Calum Scott), Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band), Endless Love (Lionel Richie & Diana Ross), Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton ).

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