Lot’s going on in the sports world, and not all of it good or uplifting news, but I will discuss some of the bigger stories, and some things going on in Western Pennsylvania. Most of the problems in sports are, in my view, media driven. The media, a lot of times, even creates the problem, and does little to come up with a solution. Every problem has a solution, but sometimes it is never found. One media driven problem is that baseball will have a strike when the labor agreement ends. It is the example of the media’s obsession with predicting gloom and doom. The media, whether its the sports or news, thrives on trying to create fear, anger, and stress. They like to call it keeping everyone informed. Do they ever keep you informed of good things? The answer is rarely. But now to the world of sports.
Baseball elected two new members to the Hall of Fame. Derek Jeter and Larry Walker became the newest members of the Hall. Both players were deserving, and it is a shame that Walker had to wait until his last year on the ballot to gain entrance. The steroid issue came up, with Bonds and Clemens making very small gains, around 1 to 2%, which does not bode well for their future chances. Many of the same people that are appalled at the Astros sign stealing methods, still voted for Bonds and Clemens. They acquired their astronomical statistics from cheating. You hear all kinds of excuses for voting for Bonds and Clemens. I am not even going dignify these lame reasons by listing them. Here is a possible solution to the problem. Take away all the stats they acquired while on PED’s. Everybody knows when they started to take the drugs. All you have to do is look at Bond’s and see when his head got as big as a basketball. This may help Bonds and Clemens get into the Hall of Fame because their stats are that good before they took PED’s. The record book will look a lot better with Hank Aaron at the top of the career leader board and Roger Maris the season leader in home runs. Of course the media is still talking about the Astros. They want the players to apologize and if they do, then everything will be fine. Please move on from this but I know this will not happen.
Then there is the Pittsburgh Pirates. What are you doing? I don’t mean the what are doing, when you see someone putting peanut butter on a medium rare filet mignon. I mean, the what are you doing with the rest of your life. Are they going to rebuild or not. Of course, by the time I get to the end of this sentence Starling Marte could be traded, but lets assume the Pirates are going with what they have in 2020. What they have is 6 solid players at 1st, 2ond, SS, LF, CF,and catcher. In fact they have a top 10 first baseman, left fielder, and center fielder, in all of baseball. The two big holes are 3rd base and right field. There are two things that this management team must be hoping for, or counting on. One, that Gregory Polanco can play 130 to 140 games. I don’t think they even care how well he plays them, just that he plays them. Two, Ke’Bryan Hayes is ready for the major leagues. The other big weakness in 2019 was the pitching staff. Without any additions to the staff, management is hoping for the new coaching staff to really improve the performance of this staff. It could happen. As a long time Pirate fan I am very comfortable with the current situation, and I think this team could contend with the above happening. Even though the moves of this team have been very very modest to say the least, they have upgraded a horrible defense. We are about 2 months from opening day and a lot could still happen, which could change the outlook, but for now I say things are looking up.
A couple of brief comments to finish up. I only follow college basketball peripherally, during the regular season, but it does seem that the top 5 in basketball, is losing on a regular basis. I often think, that there will be an NCAA basketball tournament someday, that will have the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th seed as the final four. Maybe this will be the year. Another week, where a couple of NFL players were arrested, which still makes me think that there should be a clock on NFL.com running with the caption, it’s been this long since an NFL player has been arrested. A week from Sunday is the SUPER BOWL, between Budweiser and Frito Lay. I think that Budweiser will win the commercial battle by 2. I have one final question. Does anybody watch all of the Super Bowl pre game shows, from beginning to end, even just on one network. I hope not, but there probably is. There is something wrong when the event is bigger than the game. Congratulations NFL for making your championship game, irrelevant.