Muffet McGraw announced her retirement as the women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame. She has been on the job there since 1987 after 5 years as the women’s basketball coach at Lehigh. Overall, her teams’ combined record was 936 – 232; her teams won more than 3 games out of 4. Notre Dame won the National Championship twice in her tenure there and made the Final Four seven other times. She is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bonne chance, Muffet McGraw…
MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred announced yesterday the culmination of his investigation into the Red Sox involvement in sign-stealing. The outcome – and the punishments handed down – are anti-climatic when compared with the news related to the Astros for the same offense. Here are the sanctions:
- The Red Sox will lose a second-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft – whenever that takes place.
- The Sox video replay operator, J.T. Watkins is banned from baseball through the end of the 2020 season – if there is one – and Watkins will not be allowed to perform video replay duties during the 2021 season.
- Fired Red Sox manager Alex Cora did not receive any extra punishment as a result of this investigation; his banishment from baseball through the end of the 2020 season – if there is one – for his involvement in the Astros’ cheating scheme remains in place.
Recall that the Astros were fined $5M as a team and that the Astros lost 4 draft picks a few months ago. Basically, Manfred’s decision here means that he determined that what the Red Sox did was wrong but that it was not nearly as wrong as what the Astros did. Here is a link to the Executive Summary of Manfred’s report and decision in the matter from mlb.com.
Because of the significant disparity in the punishments handed down and the absence of any opprobrium directed at any Red Sox players or coaches, I figured that the NY press would not be thoroughly happy with this result. An article in this morning’s NY Post corroborated that suspicion. The article begins with this sentence:
“Was J.T. Watkins just another scapegoat?”
Not surprisingly, this morning’s New York Times took a far more measured approach to the story and reported on the details of Manfred’s decision and how it was communicated inside MLB’s highest levels. That is why the NY Post sports section is much more fun to read – – if not more accurate.
I am confident that within the next day or so there will be stories in the NY tabloids railing against the “cheating Red Sox” and quoting Yankee players and managers and whomevers about how the Red Sox accomplishments are tainted. I want to get out front of those stories here; when they appear, here is what I hope someone reporting the story has the integrity to respond:
- How many KNOWN PED cheaters were on those Yankees’ rosters in the late 90s and the early “aughts” when the Yanks were winning all those pennants and World Series?
- And how many were there that everyone knew were “using” but no one could prove it in a court of law?
- Physician, heal thyself…
The NFL Draft starts tonight, and it will be done via video conferencing and streaming and all that kind of new age stuff. The potential for a hiccough exists. So, let me take a moment here to highlight a few oddities from NFL drafts over the years. I am not a football historian by any stretch of the imagination; I leave that sort of title to folks like Dan Daly and Ray Didinger and “the reader from Houston”. Here are “draft glitches” I can recall:
- The NFL Draft began in 1936. The Eagles had the overall #1 pick and drafted Jay Berwanger; he refused to play for them. The Eagles had the overall #1 pick in 1937 too. They drafted Sam Francis who also refused to play for them. Things were tough in Philly in the mid-30s…
- In the mid-40s, the Skins drafted a player in the first round, but he was a junior in college and at the time was not eligible for the draft. So, the next year, the Skins again took him in the first round. He decided not to play professional football. Sounds like a serious lack of communication there…
- About 20 years ago, the Vikes missed the time-limit for making their selection. They did not lose the pick, but their snafu allowed two other teams to hustle and make selections before the Vikes could get their card up to the podium.
However, I believe that the ultimate “draft glitch” award belongs not with any NFL team; it belongs to the Canadian Football League where in two consecutive drafts in the 1990s, teams selected players who were dead at the time of the draft. That will be tough to top…
Finally, Dwight Perry had two more comments regarding sports and social distancing in the Seattle Times recently:
“Overzealous college boosters, embracing the spirit of social distancing, are now including a tiny bottle of sanitizer with every $100 handshake.”
“The ‘Field of Dreams’ ghosts, tired of waiting for a statewide quarantine edict, are reportedly social-distancing six cornrows apart.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………