Congratulations to the Washington Nationals. They are the World Series Champions for 2019. If the baseball gods were indeed scripting this event, they did so with an interesting twist. For the entirety of the 2019 season, the Nats’ bullpen betrayed the team giving up leads and causing losses. In Game 7, on the road, in the World Series, it was the Astros’ bullpen that imploded while the Nats’ bullpen held the line.
MLB enters that portion of the calendar year when its news is generated by off-field activities with a first-time champion. The Nats – born as the Expos – had never won a world Series until yesterday. As far as Washington is concerned, its last experience as World champion of baseball came when Walter Johnson was still pitching…
As college basketball teams aim toward the start of their regular season schedules, it is not possible for me to comment on all the 353 teams that will compete in Division 1 college basketball this season. Nonetheless, I think there are a few coaches in some of the more “visible” schools who may be on a hot seat for the season. Let me mention two of them here:
- Danny Manning – Wake Forest: Manning has been the head coach at Wake Forest since 2014; he has had time on the vine to make the Demon Deacons into an ACC contending team. In fact, Wake has finished 10th or worse in each of the last 4 seasons. I suspect the string may play itself out without significant improvement this season.
- Josh Pastner – Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets will not be allowed into a post-season tournament this year due to NCAA probation for things that happened on Pastner’s watch. Couple that fact with the reality that Tech was below .500 in each of the last 2 seasons; that showing over the past 2 seasons tarnishes the fact that Pastner was ACC Coach of the Year in 2017.
And of course, there must be some degree of heat on the seats of the so-called “Felonious Four” – the head coaches involved to various extents in the actions that have led to the FBI/DoJ probe and prosecution of people involved in improper college basketball recruiting. None of these gentlemen are going to be fired simply based on allegations made by DoJ prosecutors – – but if their teams falter badly, all bets are off. Here they are listed alphabetically:
- Sean Miller – Arizona
- Bruce Pearl – Auburn [Aside: Pearl has “history” with the NCAA from his days at Tennessee. If the heat turns up here, it might behoove the school to remove Pearl as an “irritant” to the NCAA poohbahs.]
- Bill Self – Kansas [Aside: The NCAA has already notified the school that it considers happenstances there to be significant violations of NCAA rules…]
- Will Wade – LSU
I need to acknowledge my ignorance here. Until this week, I had not realized that CBSSports.com had been assigning power rankings to NFL Practice Squads on a weekly basis. Now that I know that this happens regularly and that it is not a gigantic spoof on things like “power rankings” in any form, I feel that we may be witnessing a sure sign of the apocalypse.
Trent Williams has reported to the Skins – but did not practice due to “discomfort” with his helmet. Recall that Williams’ holdout has to do with the Skins’ medical staff and a growth that had to be removed from his skull. He has reported such that he gets credit for honoring his contract for 2019 leaving him only one year left on his deal.
The Skins’ failure to trade him before the deadline probably dropped his trade value. A week ago, a trading partner could view Williams as an OT who could play 8 games or so in 2019 plus give that trading partner a year to see if there was an extended deal that made sense for both parties. Now, Williams will be entering his contract year before any swap can happen; there was more value before the trade deadline than there is now. Please do not be surprised that the Skins’ Front Office has made a mockery of what could have been a merely messy situation.
Finally, Dwight Perry had this question in the Seattle Times a few weeks ago:
“Michigan’s football team fumbled the ball away in its first three opening drives this season.
“So what’s next — bringing in Lucy to hold for extra points?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………