FOX Sports has hired Pete Rose as a studio analyst. Some folks see this as a harbinger of Rose’s ultimate reinstatement to MLB’s good graces. I think it is far too soon to jump to that conclusion. Regular readers here know that I favor Rose’s reinstatement and his induction into the Hall of Fame, but I am not going to celebrate just yet. Yes, this job puts Rose into a very public and very direct involvement with MLB; no, this does not guarantee his reinstatement.
Memo to Pete Rose: Try never to start one of your analyses with the phrase, “I bet you…”
Yesterday, the Las Vegas 51’s played the Fresno Grizzlies and the day was set aside to honor Jerry Tarkanian in his passing. Dwight Perry anticipated this celebration with this comment in the Seattle Times:
“The minor-league Las Vegas 51s and Fresno Grizzlies will wear Jerry Tarkanian-themed jerseys April 19 to honor the late hoops-coaching great, then sell them for charity.
“What, no game-chewed towels?”
Johnny Manziel emerged from rehab after about 10 weeks. Many athletes who have gone to rehab for drugs and/or alcohol addiction come out after 4 weeks so the duration of his stay stands out for me.
Does the added time indicate that he had a problem 2.5 times greater than other athletes?
Does the added time indicate that he is 2.5 times more committed to resolving his problem than other athletes?
Obviously, the reason(s) for his more lengthy stay in a counseling environment are private matters and any reporting you may see regarding those reasons is most likely to be pure speculation. Manziel’s statement after leaving rehab touched on all the right points; and if he is committed to living up to what he said in that statement, he will be a better person for doing so.
Manziel’s rookie season experience with the Browns was inauspicious to say the least. Obviously, whatever issues he had to deal with in 10 weeks of counseling/therapy had to play a part in his on-field shortcomings. With those behind him – presumably – he may have the opportunity to re-start his NFL career. However, it may not be in Cleveland because there are persistent reports that the Browns may be looking to draft another QB this year and the team has already signed Josh McCown to compete for the starting job even if they do not take another QB in the draft.
Speaking of QBs who are in need of a career re-start, there are reports that the Eagles will sign Tim Tebow later today. Let us just say that the Eagles’ QB position is “crowded”:
Sam Bradford arrived in a trade for Nick Foles
Mark Sanchez re-signed during the off-season.
Matt Barkley is still on the roster – – but should rent not buy.
Tim Tebow is about to join the parade.
Rumors persist that the Eagles want to trade up to draft Marcus Mariota.
Tebow has not played in an NFL game since 2012 when he was a “change of pace” player at QB for the Jets. His career stat line is unimpressive – the most glaring stat being that he only completed 48% of his passes at a time when starting QBs are expected to complete 60-70% of the throws. Nonetheless, Tebow is a good athlete and a smart guy; if Chip Kelly thinks his abilities fit with the Eagles’ offense and if Tebow’s QB mechanics have been improved by coaching and practice, this is not a signing that will present grave danger(s) to the Eagles’ franchise.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have some roster alterations to make this summer. Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor have been fixtures in the Steelers’ secondary for about a decade or so. Both of them have retired in the past couple of weeks and that should present a challenge to the Steelers’ defensive coaches.
Aaron Hernandez will not be playing in the NFL again either – for completely different reasons. You had to know that it would not take long for the late night comedians to comment on that jury verdict. Here is what Conan O’Brien had to say:
“Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His lawyer plans to appeal. He’s trying to get the sentence reduced down to two seasons with the New York Jets.”
MLB set a new record for attendance at Spring Training games this year. [Aside: I am happy to have provided MLB some assistance in achieving this milestone.] Total attendance for 481 Spring Training games was 4,034,708 (almost 8400 per game). The previous record for Spring Training attendance was in 2013 at 3.8M fans so the increase this year is 5% higher than the previous record. Granted it is far too early to spot any trend here, but the early results for MLB attendance at regular season games is up an average of 1,226 fans per game after 184 regular season games as compared to last year.
Finally, here are two perspectives on college basketball’s “one-and-done” situation for this year:
“Perspective: Maybe like you, I only recently discovered that 21-year-old Masters champ Jordan Spieth was one-and-done at Texas. Led the Longhorns to the NCAA title and then split, same as Mike Krzyzewski’s three best players just did for Duke. Funny, isn’t it, how media and public hand-wringing are reserved only for basketball one-and-doners.” [Bob Molinaro, Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot]
“CNN.com reports the University of Phoenix has lost about half its students.
“Enrollment has dropped from 460,000 to 213,000 — making it second only to Kentucky in number of people leaving early for the NBA Draft.” [Brad Rock, Deseret News]
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………