1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday. “The Baseball Commissioner Speaks Out”

Posted by on September 22nd, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 

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“The Commissioner Speaks Out in San Diego.”

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Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred came to San Diego on Thursday night, in his season ending tour of major league ball parks. He spent 45-minutes fielding some pretty tough questions about the state of the game. The following are his key quotes.

..Padres owner Ron Fowler a tremendous asset to the league office.
..Padres confirmed they will extend safety netting along 1st-3rd base side Petco Park.

..NY foul ball incident upsetting to all in baseball…safety of fans is paramount….11-clubs have extended netting…Reds and Padres will do it next season…MLB will not mandate it to other teams.

..Believed he had deal for 26-man regular season roster limit and 28-man roster in September with Union when Union backed out…wants games in September-most important part of the season-to be played under same rules as in season.

..Willing to reopen roster talks with Tony Clark in off season.

..20-second pitch clock…want it for next year…has worked very well in minor leagues..will continue to talk to Union about it.

..Pace of Play still key issue..concerned about trips to mound….length of breaks between innings….asking played for input…will not change rules that impact style of game…just deal with dead time issues that elongate games..not impact competition part of game

..Will not change the strike zone for the 2018-season.

..Umpires work is very consistent…their balls and strikes evaluated weekly..umps are calling more strikes and more low ball strikes.

..Umpires will not me live mic’d to discuss manager’s challenge decisions on replay.

..HR record this year..no single cause….Athletes-bigger-stronger-faster….Players swinging bats differently….2-labs plus Rawlings continue to test balls-no change in ball this year.

..Padres-Mexico City game next May still under discussuion,,,might consider alternate sight in Mexico instead of Azteca Stadium.

..Home plate collision rule is working…fewer injuries-hits on catchers

..Payroll issue….does not agree there should be a floor to spending in baseball, like NBA-NHL….says Union does not want to sign off on that measure…says teams success are cyclical….Have luxury tax and strong penalties for teams over tax…..did propose floor to spending-Union rejected….

…Likes idea of global draft…1-common entry into pro baseball for all players….thinks International Cap is now working.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday. “NFL-A Bad Look-or-Business as Usual?”

Posted by on September 21st, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 

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“NFL-Bad Look-or-Business as Usual”

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I cannot get the phrase out of my mind. It has resurfaced again.

“Delay-Deny-Hope you Die”.

Those were the comments of angry NFL players and their families, in the midst of the potential Concussion Lawsuit, that was supposed to be finalized 3-years ago, after a fight that took 5-years time.

I thought of that phrase with the latest revelations out of Washington and New York, that lawyers are going back to court on behalf of ailing and dying players.

Some of them want to know why payments, already promised to 1100 players continued to be delayed in the red-tape of administrators, supposedly handling the scheduling of money to go to families of players. The ones dying of head trauma, dementia, ALS and other assorted diseases, the aftermath of concussions.

Lawyers want to know where is the guaranteed money, 4-to-5M each, supposedly to be paid to the estates, the wives, the children, of documented former players, who committed suicide from CTE, or died of dementia and Alzheimers?

And now another group of lawyers want to know what the judge in the case is going to do, to help players being preyed upon by lawyers or firms, willing to advance them money upfront, but charging them exorbitant interest rates, to be collected, once their concussion payments arrive?

And now the report that a couple of firms hired former Giants-Eagles quarterback Joe Pisarcik, to be the contact man for some of these firms, to deliver players with acute problems, to them, for advance payments, with high interest rates attached to them.

Reports say the ex-NFL QB, who was a strong union member, was given $200,000-advance money himself to make all the contacts, then awarded $75,000-bonuses for the number of players he actually signed up for representation.

Sitting at home in San Diego, are former Chargers players, ailing. The same in every NFL city across the country. Players confined to wheelchairs…in rehab….in care centers…in hospice.

Players who are destitute, living on small pensions from the NFL, and social security.

Families still grieving over their husbands and fathers and brothers, who killed themselves rather than face the trauma of life after football with brain damage.

Does the NFL have a responsibility to follow thru on the administration of the concussion settlement, that guarantees 865M in payments?

Can the NFL be trusted to take care of its own, the players on whom the league built its success from the 1950’s to now considering how this league operated in the past?

Does there need to be an independent firm established to run the concussion program, from protocol to execution, from diagnosis to distribution of funds?

Where is the NFL Union representing the fallen soldiers of the game they represent?

I just cannot get past history out of my mind, when I think of those ailing, the struggles to get taken care of, and what the NFL was all about, back in the day, not so long ago.

As retired players said, and you hope the philosophy does not still exist.

“Delay-Deny-Hope you Die”.

This is a bad look for the NFL. Hoping it is not business as usual.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Wednesday. “Padres Outfield-Traffic Jam”

Posted by on September 20th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 

Lee Hamilton
5:13 PM (5 hours ago)

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“Traffic Jam-Petco Park-Outfield”

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I know it will wind up with a likely 90-loss season…currently (68-83)..

I know the pitching staff will finish with one of the worst ERAs in all of major league baseball..(4.60-ERA)..

I know the team will wind up last in batting and in most categories…(.232) at this point.

I know the attendance is struggling to get to the 2M mark, a low water mark in recent years, now at 1.994,000 today..

I know there are at least 30-players in the minor leagues, most of them in the lower minors, coming off good seasons at different levels, who might not be here for a couple of more seasons.

The big picture looks a bit brighter than the current snapshot of Padres baseball.

The fascinating story that is unfolding as we go to the final two weeks of the season, is the traffic jam in the outfield of guys, who have shown they can play and can contribute.

Hunter Renfroe may not have the batting average you hoped for (.231) but he has 21-homers, and has played a credible right field.

Manny Margot has arrived, at the tender age of 22, not getting overwhelmed (.265-13HRs), and playing a dynamic centerfield.

Jose Pirela is a late developer, who seems to be a professional hitter (.288) with some power (10home runs).

Travis Jankowski is back after missing most of the year with a fractured leg. If he hits back to last year’s numbers (.270), gets on base, and chases down flyballs, he is equal to a starter.

Corey Spangenburg has played in the garden in spots, and has established himself in multi position roles (.260-13HRs)

Jabari Blash shows flashes of power, has a cannon for an arm, and can play the corner spots, though hitting for average has been a challenge over multiple cups of coffee with the team…and he did hit 25-bombs and (.285) at AAA.

Matt Szczur has established himself as a super utility man, have glove, will play, lots of positions.

Add to the list of seven, might be the surprise package that is Franchy Cordero. He did hit for power here briefly, and slashed some, and struck out a lot. But on the fast track thru the minor leagues, he went for (.326-17HR) in El Pso.

Alex Dickerson, robbed of his season by a herniated disc, still has a (.309) career mark and 58-homers in 4-plus seasons. He goes into the mix next spring, post-surgery.

And further down the pipeline is Cuban sensation Jorge Ona (.277-11HR) in his first year in the states. Lower minor leaguers Michael Gettys (17HR)…Rod Boykin (.318), Rive Stevens (.287) and Edwin Moreno all excelled at Class A.

That’s nine outfielders plus five prospects in the chain.. Some will make it as backups, maybe some become trade bait.

The Padres will spend the winter trying to sort out who plays where in the infield.

And they will have to figure out how to acquire more pitching to compliment the two young arms in Luis Perdomo and Donelson Lamet.

But for the here and now, the outfield looks set. You can see that in the traffic jam on the organizational chart.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Chargers to LA-How’s That Going?”

Posted by on September 19th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 

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Chargers to LA-How’s that Going”

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The Chargers home opener vs Miami.

At first glance on TV it looked like the game was sold out. From long distance shots, you saw a lot of blue.

Then you had close up shots, and yes, you could differentiate between the Chargers blue, and the Miami Dolphins aqua jerseys. Add in lots of Orange, the alternative Miami color, and as people told me, almost a third of the stadium was Miami fan.

About that crowd now. Don’t you remember AG Spanos telling us all, that all 27,000 season tickets were sold out. And you remember Mark Fabiani hinting Chargers fans would not be allowed to sell their tickets?

Attendance was 25,381, the second non-sellout at home in two weeks. And probably 8,000 of them were Miami fans dressed in their colors.

Dean Spanos can solve that. He can go back to ‘Central Casting’, and rent some fans for next weekend’s home game. He knows about Central Casting doesn’t he?

The alternative is to have a Red Sea tidal wave of fans in the yard next Sunday. You know, Kansas City Chiefs red?

And if you are keeping score at home, there were 56,612 for the Rams game at the Coliseum, and USC drew 84,714 for its game with Texas.

It’s tough to build something in Los Angeles, when the product is so poor.

An (0-2) start with a rookie coach, plagued by a bad field goal kicker, stymied by bad clock management and questionable play calling, makes it tough to sales pitch an attractive product, even with a Hall of Fame quarterback and tight end on the roster..

And the LA media, it is indeed piling on.

The LA Times lead column led with the description, ‘not wanted here…not needed here’, when making reference to the Chargers.

Spanos was shown sitting in the owners box, and was booed. The halftime ceremony giving LaDainian Tomlinson his Hall of Fame ring, saw him booed when he made reference to the Spanos family.

The stadium had tarps in the corners of the upper deck. There were bunches of end zone lower level seats empty. Shockingly, seats at the 40 and 50 yard lines were empty also. Hard to believe, that many no shows just two weeks into the season.

Of course in San Diego, the UT had four different columns and articles, all with negative slants about the team, the owner, the move, the bad blood.

On the 405 freeway, the electronic billboard, with the rotating messages deriding Spanos, Roger Goodell and the LA market, paid for by disgruntled Chargers fans.

The plane overhead flew with a trailing banner…Worst owner in sports-Dean Spanos-pay your rent. Ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt must feel relieved these days, there’s a new villan in LA.

You lose two games to start a season, in San Diego there would be panic. In their new market, no one cares, because the Dodgers are headed to the playoffs..the Trojans are ranked high with a Heisman Trophy type quarterback…and the Lakers are about to open the Lonzo Ball-basketball era.

The TV ratings, in LA, for that first home game, an awful (5.1) rating, worst home market TV rating for a team in its own city in 33-years. Rams football didn’t do much better, just (7.2)

Chargers football, fenced in by the Dodgers-Lakers and Clippers…om the shadows of the Trojans-Bruins and Kings…it’s like they don’t exist.

The Chargers have a real problem. It might be the product. It might be the prices. It might be the size of the market. But more likely, it might be the owner.

The Chargers have now lost 27-of-their last 37-games.

In modern day history, when I think of Dean Spanos, my mind flashes to others like him who have failed. Is he becoming Mike Brown of the Bengals? Is he the next Bill Bidwell of the Cardinals?

History is getting ready to write about Dean Spanos and his greed. AG Spanos, his son, an empty suit. John Spanos, the so-called football guru, in over his head.

Is it Sunday yet? Here comes the Kansas City Chiefs to town.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday. “1-Town-1 Team”

Posted by on September 18th, 2017  •  0 Comments  • 

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“1-Town..1-Winning Team”

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They walked the talk.

They did what you would expect a Rocky Long football team to do…played hard..hit hard…got the turnovers…got the sacks…ran the ball…hit big pass plays…and out toughed another opponent.

Playing in a medieval football stadium, that experienced a 22-minute power display, San Diego State put the lights out on Stadium, winning (I20-17) with (:54) left on a Christian Chapman game winning TD pass.

For a program so used to failure, losing badly to big time teams, it was another step forward for the strong willed program, led by the strong willed coach, Rocky Long.

Long is now (57-26) in America’s Finest City, bring football fans the finest college football we have seen since the small college days of Don Coryell, the Aztecs Bowl in Division II football. And that was a lot of 3rd down coversions ago.

The scoreboard does not lie about SDSU struggles outside their own conference, whether it was WAC or Mountain West.

Goodbye all types of bad karma. Had never beaten two PAC 10-PAC 12 teams in the same year, ever. Were (0-30) vs ranked teams in the Power 5-Conferences. Were (5-56) against any ranked teams since 1981. Were (12-40) vs Pac 10-12 teams over the history of the program.

Long, every the student of cement-tough defense, told me he watched the schemes USC employed the week prior choking off the Cardinals power offense.

Copy-cat he is, he played a stacked defense against Stanford, walking linebackers into gaps, daring them to run power back Bryce Love. If they didn’t run it, he dared QB-Keller Chryst to think he could get the ball out of there before the pass rush outnumbered blockers, and nailed the quarterback.

Yes Love broke off 3-big runs of 47-51-53 when he busted to second level. The rest of the night, he did nothing.

Chryst was an anemic (9-19) with no deep balls and no time to throw.

In typical Red & Black style, Long’s defense recovered a fumble, had 2-picks and recorded 4-sacks.

Meanwhile, it was a typical night at the office for the Aztecs run game. Rashaad Penny gashed Stanford for runs of 11-11-14-14-23-36, behind a very young, but physical SDSU offensive front.

State QB-Christian Chapman did more than just ‘manage the game’. He got that off his driver’s license with a strong (21-29) 187Y-performance. His TE-David Wells, the next coming of Gavin Escobar, caught key passes, and the game winner.

And John Barron booted two more field goals enroute to the win.

Stanford was black and blue when it was over.

It may only be the third win of the season, but it counts for a lot. A (3-0) record, more national recognition for the big money running back ‘Penny’, and another quality win in a series of quality wins for Long, covering the last three seasons.

Next up the challenge that is all things Air Force. Aztecs coming off a brutally physical game. Short work week vs the Air Force option. The thin air of Colorado Springs.

And beyond that, a home game with Boise State, the team the Aztecs have replaced as the flag carrier of the Mountain West Conference.

As a talkshow host, I always loved saying ‘it’s your fault coach’. And it is. Rocky Long has coached em up…game planned them up…built the roster up…and seems primed to take SDSU football to new levels.

And now a new tradition…fans storming the field after a huge win, something I have hardly ever seen in 30-years covering this team. This should become the ‘norm’ every weekend.

Time for the ‘show’…the fraternity guys and student body to take that basketball tradition, and make it a football tradition too.

1-Town…1-Team….1-Winning Team…San Diego State.

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