Sunday, January 24, 2016

Super Panthers, Super Bowl!!!

I'll keep this one short and sweet ...


Soon-to-be Super Bowl 50 Champions!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Don't blame me for Griffey not being a unanimous Hall of Famer or for Edmonds being off the ballot

Ken Griffey Jr. was named on the Hall of Fame ballots of all but three Baseball Writers Association of America voters -- giving him the highest percentage ever. I'm still trying to figure out how those three justified omitting perhaps the greatest center fielder ever -- not to mention one of the very best players of an entire generation, and an icon with a squeaky-clean reputation.

Oh well. There's no exact science. I mean, it took Joe Freakin' DiMaggio four tries to get enshrined.

A couple of weeks ago here, I discussed why I voted for Jim Edmonds. It's a shame he didn't get enough votes to stay on the ballot for next year -- my check mark was one of only 11 he received, and he needed exactly twice that many.

Edmonds was twice the ballplayer Jeff Kent and Fred McGriff ever were, yet they got significantly more votes and will stay on the ballot. Edmonds was as likely to save a game with a great defensive play as he was with a clutch hit, something Kent and McGriff certainly couldn't say.

I guess it doesn't really matter, because Kent and McGriff will never get named on 75% of the ballots (as is mandated for enshrinement). Neither will Lee Smith, Larry Walker nor Edgar Martinez, other very, very good big-leaguers whom I didn't rate as worthy as Edmonds.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds remained well short of the votes they needed but they did get a higher percentage than they did previously. I am 95% certain I will vote for both of them next year, their fifth on the ballot. I discuss my reasoning in earlier posts here on TBT.

Aside from Griffey and Edmonds, I also voted for:

Mike Piazza, who will join Griffey as the only two BBWAA-elected players in this year's class; Jeff Bagwell, who finished 15 votes short; Tim Raines, who missed by 23 votes; Curt Schilling, who was named on 52% of the ballots; Mike Mussina, 43%; and Alan Trammell, a great guy and very good ballplayer who didn't get in on his final year on the ballot.

The Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the BBWAA, has changed rules to weed out some voters. I will be one of those eventually weeded out because I'm no longer an active baseball writer. But I pay attention, I take it seriously, and I sure as hell didn't leave Ken Griffey Jr. off of my ballot.


Tuesday was my favorite day of 2016 so far.

First, my Scholars Academy Eagles played one of our better games in my three years as coach, easily vanquishing our opponent to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Our team motto is Work Hard! Play Right! Have Fun! and the "Play Right" part is always the most elusive. My girls work harder than anybody and they are a great group that has a lot of fun. But they are 11-to-14 year old girls, and it's not always easy for them to play "right." Even in some fairly decisive wins, we have been error-prone.

On Tuesday, we minimized our mistakes and really did a great job of moving the basketball. It was a pleasure to watch. Three times, I drew up plays or made suggestions, and they executed each of them, so they were very coachable, too.

We play again Thursday, and I'm really interested in seeing if we can do it again.

Later Tuesday, a small Charlotte contingent of Marquette alums got together with a small group of Providence alums to watch the Marquette-Providence game. We were 0-2 in the Big East with two pretty bad losses, and Providence was ranked No. 8 in the country. Plus, the Friars were the hosts. Honestly, I didn't give my lads much of a chance.

But Marquette outworked and outplayed Providence most of the game. Most impressively, after Providence rallied to take an 8-point lead with about 6 minutes to go, the young Marquette team fought back, took the lead in the final minute and held on to win by a point.

It was the "signature victory" so far for Marquette under second-year coach Steve Wojciechowski, who starts three freshmen and a sophomore.

After the final horn sounded and the Warrior fans exchanged high-fives, I didn't do too much trash-talking to our friends from Providence.

A little, but not too much!