Bits And Pieces…

Fans of the LA Dodgers cannot be thrilled at losing Max Scherzer to the Mets in free agency and at losing Corey Seager to the Rangers in free agency.  Scherzer – even at 37 years old – was probably the most valuable pitcher the Dodgers had on the roster given that Trevor Bauer is in baseball limbo for now.  Seager was at least the third best bat in the Dodgers’ lineup and probably higher on the list than that.

Do not cry crocodile tears for those Dodgers’ fans, however.  The pitching staff still has Walker Buehler, Daniel Hudson and Julio Urias and the position players still include Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger.  An important objective for the Dodgers would be to retain the services of Chris Taylor and not to have him sign on with another team in free agency this off-season.

Speaking of MLB free agents signing with teams, the existing CBA expires at midnight tonight Eastern Time.  All the reports say that the owners will lock out the players and proceed with negotiations under those circumstances.  Most likely, that will put free agent signings on hold until the new CBA is hammered out and it should also make player trades between teams impossible.

I read somewhere – and did not make a note of where it was so I cannot link to it here – that this lockout only applies to members of the MLBPA.  That means that if this lockout extends into the spring of 2022, the only professional baseball that might be available would be minor league baseball.  Minor league teams had a tough year in 2020 without games; if they are the only game in town in 2022 when it comes to baseball, perhaps they might recoup some that lost revenue?

Moving on …  The CFP Selection Committee has issued its penultimate rankings; next week at this time we will know the field for the CFP.  Here is the current list:

  1. Georgia – – 12-0
  2. Michigan – – 11-1
  3. Alabama – – 11-1
  4. Cincy – – 12-0
  5. Oklahoma St. – – 11-1
  6. Notre Dame – – 11-1
  7. Ohio St. – – 10-2

Using the eyeball test, I think Georgia is indeed the best team I have seen this season.  I understand the Committee’s reason for putting Michigan above Ohio St. based on the results of their head-to-head game, but I am not so sure the difference is a stark as shown there.  I saw Michigan lose to Michigan St. and I also saw Ohio St. squash Michigan St.  Here is an interesting possibility that would reveal something about the CFP and its motivation(s):

  • Georgia and Alabama take each other to OT and the margin of victory is 2 points.  That keeps both SEC teams in the top four.
  • Michigan beats Iowa
  • Cincy loses in a close game to Houston
  • Oklahoma St. loses to Baylor
  • Notre Dame does not play anyone this week; they finish at 11-1.

So, if the top three teams are going to stay there in the same order – – or a jumbled order; it makes no difference – – that would put Cincy and Notre Dame in juxtaposition with each other.  Now, the Committee can consider:

  • Invite Cincy since Cincy beat Notre Dame in South Bend back in September – – OR – –
  • Invite Notre Dame because TV ratings with Notre Dame playing will be significantly higher than with Cincy playing.

That would be interesting and possibly revealing…

Switching gears …  I think I could convince most NFL fans that the four worst teams in the league are – in alphabetical order to avoid trying to rank the stinkitude here – the Jags, Jets, Lions and Texans.  [Aside:  The Jags still have the Jets and the Texans on their schedule so rank ordering may sort itself out.]  But I would like to posit here that a team in freefall that might not be much better than any of those four bad teams is:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers

The defense is good when fully healthy – – but it is not fully healthy; the Steelers have yielded 41 points in each of their last two games.  The offense is simply bad; there is no deluding oneself on that issue.  Ben Roethlisberger is playing as if he is 59 years old instead of merely 39 years old.  Here is the rest of the Steelers’ schedule:

  • Ravens at home
  • Vikings in Minnesota
  • Titans at home
  • Chiefs in KC
  • Browns at home
  • Ravens in Baltimore

There are no “gimmees” on that list; the game against the Browns in Pittsburgh on January 3rd looks to be the “easiest game”.  The Steelers have 5 wins  “in the bank” for 2021 so they are never going to challenge the Bottom Four for worst record – – but the Steelers have significant problems and not a lot of answers to those problems.

Finally, I’ll close here with an entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Interesting:  A word meaning ‘ I have no idea what the hell I’m supposed to say.’”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Bits And Pieces…”

  1. Also an interesting question is what happens if Georgia loses by more than a TD and the four teams ranked below them win? Does the SEC runner-up get to play for the championship over the conference champion or the B1G, Big 12, and undefeated Cincy? And, there is ND with one loss. If the rationale for leaving ND out is that they lost to a team in the CFP, then UGA has too be out also.

    This will be an interesting weekend in college football.

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