It does not matter if you are rooting for the Dodgers or the Rays in the World Series, there has been plenty of excitement in the games so far. We have seen power hitting, clutch hitting, excellent fielding and daring baserunning in the Series. Surely, you have seen and read about the Rays’ miracle win in Game 4; if you have not, Google is your friend. As to that game ending sequence, moviegoers would boo and hiss if that were the scripted ending to yet one more sequel to The Bad News Bears – – but somehow it worked in real life.
Game 5 on Sunday night was a perfect example of why God inspired someone to invent the DVR. After enjoying an OT game on Sunday Night Football Game 5 of the World Series was like enjoying a sip of aged grappa as a digestivo after a nice meal. Daring baserunning put the Rays in position to tie the game and then snatched that opportunity away.
- Manuel Margot stole second base and advanced to third when the ball skipped away from the Dodgers’ infielder covering second base on the throw. The play at second was close as was the play at third base because the ball did not “skip away” very far. The Rays trailed by a run at that point in the game; there were no outs at the time.
- A couple of pitches later, Margot was thrown out trying to steal home – – and that play was as close if not even closer than the two plays that got Margot to third base to set it all up.
Today is a day off for both the Dodgers and the Rays. That fact led Dwight Perry to pose this pertinent question in the Seattle Times over the weekend:
“Which timeout is the more needless time waste — the NFL’s two-minute warning or MLB scheduling a “travel day” (or two) during a single-site World Series?”
Here is another astute observation from Professor Perry in the Socratic form of question and answer related to the two-minute warning:
“Q: How could you tell whether you were watching the NFL game or the presidential debate on TV Thursday night?
“A: The Giants and Eagles stopped at the two-minute warning.”
Having backed into talking about the NFL, let me offer a suggestion to the NFL mavens. You have put in place COVID-19 protocols that are purposefully and intelligently designed to reduce the probability of viral transmission. One element of those protocols is that coaches and team staff must wear masks on the sidelines during games. Obviously, there will be moments when a coach needs to lower his mask to enable others to hear or understand what he is saying; those sorts of brief “exposures” are imperfect but understandable.
Here is what should not be tolerated:
- Coaches, assistant coaches and staff members on the sidelines with masks that cover only their mouth and not their nose.
- In the past, the NFL has levied fines for not wearing a mask; coaches with “noses out” should be fined half that amount and the league office only need to watch the television feeds for the games to identify which coaches to collect from.
A former colleague and long-term reader of these rants sent me an email with a football trivia question. I shall pose the question here and the answer further down in the rant:
- “Two colleges have produced three different Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Can you name the schools and the quarterbacks?”
[I got one of the schools and its QBs but not the other one without “cheating” and using Google.]
Down in Miami, the Dolphins enjoyed their BYE Week and are obviously spending time getting set for the dawning of the Tua Era in Miami. The Dolphins chose to use the BYE Week as the time to make this move; you could convince me that this was their plan from the beginning even though you would need to be a mind-reader to know that was the case. Ryan Fitzpatrick said he was “heartbroken” when he got the news that he was going to the bench; and if you look at his last two games as a starter, you can probably understand why. In those last two games:
- The Dolphins were 2-0.
- Fitzpatrick was a combined 40-55 for 541 yards with 6 TDs and 2 INTs.
- 10 yards per pass attempt and 13 yards per completion is pretty impressive.
In my mind, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career has been QB who served as a “back-up” or a “fill-in due to injury”. It was not until I went looking for his stats in these last two games that I learned that Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken 6204 snaps in his career and has completed 3024 passes. That is a lot more “backing-up” or “filling-in” than I had realized.
Here is the trivia answer:
- Alabama has produced 3 Super bowl winning QBs – – Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler. [This is the one I figured out myself.]
- Purdue has produced 3 Super bowl winning QBs – – Len Dawson Bob Griese and Drew Brees. [I forgot where Len Dawson had gone to college.]
Finally, since I have “stolen” items from Dwight Perry twice already, let me complete the trifecta here with another of his items:
”At TheOnion.com: ‘Mitch Trubisky studying game tapes in hopes of discovering what Bears saw in him in first place.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………