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Huggins may have best COVID risk comment
West Virginia basketball coach nails it
Good morning, all. I hope your week is going well and those in the east are hunkering down for the big storm!
Bob Huggins is the longtime men’s basketball coach at West Virginia. He may have had the best remarks about the risks of COVID-19. Huggins, in a comment made to the media, covering the WVU-Richmond game, stated:
“Y’all are probably going to go shopping, buy your wife something really nice and expensive. You’re taking a risk going into a store. Of course, you take a risk if you don’t buy them something nice and expensive, as well.”
No truer words were spoken.
The Sporting News no more
The Sporting News, as I knew it, has not existed for sometime. Like much else in the print industry, it is tumbling down a cliff. The once-proud publication, which began in St. Louis in 1886, no longer prints, delivering only digital content. For some time, its parent company has existed outside the USA. On Tuesday, word broke that DAZN, whose backer is a billionaire from Ukraine, has sold the website to PAX Holdings, based in Great Britain.
Long before there was an internet, The Sporting News was the paper of record for predominately baseball but other sports too. Before there were aggregate websites, there was the The Sporting News, delivered to your mailbox or favorite newsstands weekly. The publication was an aggregate collection of stories from around baseball, box scores of all the games and numerous columnists. I could still remember Joe Falls, sports columnist for the Detroit News. His TSN column was a staple on the inside front cover. Leonard Koppett was a regular columnist, as was Wells Twombly and numerous others. If you were a sports fan, if you were a baseball fan, TSN was a must read.
I miss TSN and the fresh smell you would get, when unraveling the latest edition from your mailbox. It is one of the reasons I am a member of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research. The annual membership gets you access to past editions. It is microfilm on the internet.
And that is why the TSN, as I know it, is no more. The internet, phone apps and other technologies have rendered TSN outdated. There is talk the new owners of the online TSN will turn it into a publication mostly dedicated to sports gambling news.
Sadly, as more states push to legalize sports betting, more and more websites and even sports talk radio, will devote their content to the “point spread” or the “over-and-under.” Bet on it!
More playoff rounds for MLB on ESPN
The New York Post is reporting MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wants to expand the playoff format, along the lines of what the sport experienced in 2020’s pandemic-shortened season. He even has a television network lined up to exclusively carry the first-round: ESPN. All he needs is approval from the MLB Players Association. That is not an easy thing. Although giving the okay to the 2020 playoff format, the association is opposed to more clubs making the post season. Their argument - with some merit - is that a watered down playoff format is a disincentive for clubs to offer big money to free agents. Why dole out the big bucks, if you could make the post season with a mediocre record?
My guess is, MLB will placate the players, the post season format will expand, and ESPN will get the rights, generating more revenue for MLB. I only hope more playoffs means a reduction in the regular season 162-game schedule.
Remembering Bob Feller
Yesterday marked 10 years since the death of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller. He was one of the game’s great pitchers, who proudly served his country in the prime of his career for four years, during World War II. In 1983, while I was broadcasting for the Kinston Blue Jays, the former Cleveland Indians pitcher came to town for a pitching exhibition. He also gave me a great interview, which I resurrect in my latest The Baseball Beat podcast. Click on the image below to hear the interview.
That is it for today. As always, thank you for your support and stay safe.