Friday, March 25, 2005More Toast, Less Jam...
I start by pluggin myself with my column on Pat Summitt reconsidering her stance on coaching men. [The Ledger]
I think Summitt is in a position right now where a move could work out on both ends. She has carried the woman's game on her back for several years now and it's grown to a very stable spot. Back when I was growing up it was just Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and Old Dominion. Now it's Connecticut, LSU, Stanford, Duke, etc. etc., plus the national TV deal with ESPN doesn't hurt.
Also the Tennessee men's program really needs someone with some serious credentials to lead their program. I might be silly but I don't believe there's a blueprint to coaching, either you got it or you don't. For the Tennessee SID to ignore one of the members of coaching royalty to go after Bruce Pearl is a big mistake. At least give Summitt the first chance of refusal.
AP Weighs In: Bonds Yay, McGwire Nay
This doesn't surprise me in the least bit because skinny Bonds was basically a 450-450 player with three MVPs. He's a first ballot HoF'er anyway you look at it. [AP]
McGwire is a little bit less of an exact. He was a dynamic offensive player and although he was extremely one-dimensional, it was a hell of a dimension to have. His issue is moreso with his reputation than his numbers. Bonds isn't a very likable guy, that's no secret, he's not going to the Hall based on the media's outpouring of love for him.
McGwire had a better public reputation. The fans adored him and believed him. Between us, most media types weren't always crazy about the guy, he was also pretty surly, but in a different way. People like myself, who always thought he was juicing and somehow got a free pass because he "saved" baseball. The backlash against McGwire in some circles is more severe than Bonds because people really believed McGwire, no one really believed Bonds.
Personally I understand the anger against Bonds because he didn't need steroids to be great. He would've retired with around 550 home runs and 550 stolen bases. He'd still be Top 10 greatest ever.
I can understand someone not voting either in based on bitterness, most voters are damn near fossils anyway and long for the days of segregation and four teams in New York. I can understand voting in Bonds and not McGwire because Bonds is a much better player. I can't understand voting in McGwire and not Bonds because, like I said, skinny Barry alone was a better player than McGwire.
If I had a vote. I'd have to let both in. I can't stress this fact enough: STEROIDS WERE NOT ILLEGAL IN BASEBALL UNTIL 2003! Immoral? Absolutely. Even MLB honk Jayson Stark has an issue with it, but he knows his sport is more to blame for their lack of testing [ESPN]. But this was the juiced era and without any testing we can never know who did and who didn't. What about Cal Ripken? or Roger Clemens? or Wade Boggs? or Nolan Ryan? It easy to red flag one guy because he had the nerve to lift weights and ignore another because he didn't have that "look". Well I call bullshit, either we test everyone or we test no one. That's the only way we'll know for sure.
I tend to agree with Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald when he says:
"I begrudge the era that tolerated this more than I begrudge the man … You can't wipe out the '90s."
Here are the rest of the Quotes from Hall voters: [ESPN]
Gonzaga vs. Wake Forest
Two of the bigger stories in the first week were the losses by high seeds Gonzaga and Wake Forest. Both programs have only have one Sweet 16 appearance in the last five years and some are questioning why they were seeded the way they are.
I have no problems with Wake Forest's high seed. They play in the ACC, they also went to Illinois this year. They play a man's schedule night in and night out and if not for Chris Paul executing a poppy cock on Julius Hodge, they probably would've been a 1 seed. And again I have no problems with that.
Gonzaga, on the other hand, is on the outs with me. They did a great job improving their out of conference schedule this year. They beat Washington, Oklahoma St. and Georgia Tech. They also traveled to Illinois to take their beating. However after that it was the good life of San Diego, Pepperdine, Loyala-Marymount and Santa Clara. The West Coast conference is going to be a bit of a penalty for the Bulldogs.
Also after losing badly to Nevada last year and blowing a big lead this year, I have a feeling that Gonzaga is heading for no better than a 5 or 6 seed next year, regardless of record. As the old saying goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
I haven't talked about the NFL draft much but I will after the tournament and my friend Cesar and I even have a mock draft that we do through email. We usually try to get the first three rounds done or close to it.
Some of the stuff coming out in pre-draft workouts in interesting. Maurice Clarett is working out at his high school because Ohio State wouldn't let him in on Pro day [ESPN]. I don't know about Slo-Mo, that 40 time really killed any chances he'll have of being drafted in the first five rounds.
But I have a feeling that around the sixth round, the Denver Broncos will take a chance on him and he'll be the next running back to enjoy running behind the Broncos line. I tend to think someone will draft him because many coaches feel like Dennis Green, they know what he can do on the field with the football and they see the potential to be coached.
It doesn't hurt that it's a weaker year for running backs. After the top four of Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Carnell Williams and J.J. Arrington, there's a lot of position to manuever into that second echelon.
On the other hand, Mike Williams, who went through some of the same legal battles that Clarett did, seems to be en route to a Top 10 selection. One mock shows him at #7. [Wash. Post]. Personally I don't think there's any guarantee that he won't getting taken at #4.