Chuck Knox passed away over the weekend. He had very successful stints as the head coach of the Rams, Seahawks and Bills; in fact, he was named Coach of the Year while coaching each of those three teams and he is the only coach in NFL history to achieve that honor with three different franchises. His “conservative”/ “smash-mouth” offensive philosophy earned him the nickname “Ground Chuck”.
Rest in peace, Chuck Knox…
The Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA playoffs are in full swing. Meanwhile, the MLB season is gathering momentum and there are some interesting things to note about MLB so far this year.
On the negative side:
- The Cleveland Indians were 20-19 as of yesterday; that record put them in first place in the AL Central. If the Indians were in the AL East, they would be in 4th place; if the Indians were in the AL West, they would be in 4th place. The deal here is that everyone else in the AL Central is below .500 – – going all the way down to the Royals and White Sox whose winning percentages are bordering on embarrassing.
- The LA Dodgers were 16-24 as of yesterday; that put them squarely in 4th place in the NL West. Yes, I know that the Dodgers have been wracked by a tsunami of injuries to their starting position players and to there starting pitchers. Nevertheless, playing on a pace that would win only 65 games for the entire season is a shock for that franchise; and being swept in a series by the Reds – – probably the worst team in MLB in 2018 – – is embarrassing. I fully expect the team to far surpass a 65-win total for 2018, but their record so far is both putrid and unexpected.
Sounding a nostalgic baseball moment:
- Rafael Palmiero is 53 years old and he said earlier this year that he wanted to come back from retirement and play in the majors. That did not happen but Palmiero did achieve something interesting last week. He signed on with the Cleburne Railroaders – an independent team in the American Association – and the team also signed Palmiero’s son, Patrick. Raffy will play first base; Patrick will play third-base. Having a father/son tandem on a single team does not happen every year. Here is a link to more on this situation.
Bob Molinaro had this comment in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot last week. I have wondered about this topic since the time as a kid when I saw the “Ted Williams Shift”:
“It’s disappointing – and should frustrate fans – that so few big-league hitters attempt to beat infield over-shifts by going the other way with the pitch. Is this stubbornness some sort of macho thing? I suspect so. But are managers strictly prohibited from instructing batters to take what the defense gives them? Whatever’s happening, the game isn’t the same.”
What ever happened to the simplistic – – but obviously effective – – hitting philosophy attributed to Wee Willie Keeler who managed to bat .341 over a 19-year career:
“I hit ‘em where they ain’t.”
Could it be that the success of modern analytics in baseball is dependent to some extent on player and managerial stubbornness?
Finally, here are comments from two different sources regarding college football recruits who are “large of size”:
“The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team got a commitment from 6-8, 395-pound Australian lineman Daniel Faalele. Minnesota has lakes that are smaller.” [Brad Dickson, formerly of the Omaha World Herald]
“Kiyaunta Goodwin of Louisville, KY. Is 6 feet seven, weighs 370 pounds, wears size-18 shoes, leg presses 1000 pounds, bench presses 315, displays uncanny agility, likes art music and robotics, and has a football offer from Georgia in his pocket according to Bleacher Report.
“Oh and did we mention that he’s only 14 years old and an eighth-grader?” [Dwight Perry, Seattle Times]
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………