1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “SEY HEY-A BASEBALL SALUTE”

Posted by on June 21st, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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Oh if that old baseball stadium in Birmingham could talk-could it tell stories.

Major League Baseball honored the Negro Leagues on Thursday night at Rickwood Field, the 114-year old stadium in Alabama.

What a show MLB put on, honoring the few that are left from the Negro Leagues, and remembering the legendary Willy Mays, who passed away days before he was supposed to be honored at home plate.

The Sey Hey Kid, a true-complete 5-tool player, did it all in an illustrious New York Giants-San Francisco Giants-New York Mets career.

You remember him for his 660-home runs, his (305) average, the stolen bases, the hits, the RBIs, his glove, and more than anything, his smile.  You remember him for the 1954 World Series catch that took away a Vic Wertz-Cleveland Indians home run that resulted in a Giants 4-game sweep.

Mays was a cross between Henry Aaron-Mickey Mantle-Roberto Clemente-Ted Williams.

The most amazing display of his talent was he played for the Birmingham Black Barons as a 16-year old high school player on weekends for 3-years.

He was signed by the New York Giants, and hit (.477) as a rookie with their top farmclub in Minneapolis.

Mays went to the Polo Grounds and promptly went (1-26) to start his career.  Manager Leo Durocher found him weeping in a dark corner in his clubhouse, doubting he could play in the majors.  He was told ‘you are my centerfielder-go play’.

The rest is history, 24-All Star games later.  His resting place is Cooperstown now.

But for 1-day yesterday, it was an amazing outpouring of the history of baseball in the shadows, the brand of black baseball we can only see thru graney black and white videos.

We can now see the Hall of Fame plaques of Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston and so many more.  Now the stats are part of Cooperstown lore too.

The players may be gone, but the lore has now been preserved.

And now thanks to technology, we can find information about the Pittsburgh Crawfords, Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs and those Birmingham Black Barons of Willy Mays.

What a fabulous salute Rob Manfred and baseball put together honoring the memory of any and all who barnstormed across the country playing the game.

As a sports-talk show host, I became fascinated with the Negro Leagues, and I interviewed the likes of Cool Papa Bell, Quincey Troupe, Buck Leonard, Buck O’Neill, Will Foster, Monte Irvin, Larry Doby and Don Newcombe.  The stories were never ending and fueled my interest in seeing the Negro League Museum.

And a thrill to interview my boyhood heroes, Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider , Ted Williams and Brooks Robinson and so many more.

It’s been a lifetime love affair with the game.

Thursday night gave us a great flashback.  Oh if that Stadium could talk, could it tell some stories about the Negro Leagues, what it meant to Black America, and now what it means to major league baseball now.

What a great time it was, what an honor being paid to them now, rightfully so.

#24 now #1 in hearts and minds of baseball fans, teams, players everywhere.  It should be that way.


1-Man’s Opinion of Sports-Thursday “WORD GAME IN SPORTS”

Posted by on June 20th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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Pick a word so let’s talk about these topics:

ALL TIME BEST…Giants fans, would you choose Willy Mays (660HRs) and all the dynamics he brought to the lineup..or would it be the lifetime cheat that was Barry Bonds?  Who was the greatest Giant?.

SURPRISE..Of all the discontent in this Padres season..isn’t it an amazing story what we are seeing from journeyman 5th starter-Matt Waldren with his knuckleball, with an (1.83) ERA in his last 8-starts.  He’s saved the disappointing season so far.

2nd GUESSING…Did the Dodgers mishandle rookie starter Yosh Yamamoto, now sidelined with rotator cuff inflammation, as the innings piled up in all these starts, and he started using a hard breaking slider, that he had not used much in Japan?  This is a setback.

DEVASTATING..The Orioles loss of top young P-Kyle Bradish, with Tommy John surgery, that will take him out 14-months.  They never got their former ace John Means back after a 2nd elbow surgery in a 3-years span either.

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS…No Lakers head coach yet, and now a good coach, coming out of a bad season in Detroit is available, Monty Williams, who did a great job in Phoenix and prior to that in New Orleans.  Goes to Detroit and gets fired after a (14-68) season.  Hold that mess on Pistons ownership who had a (94-290) record in a 5-years window and gassed Williams after one winter.  What do the Lakers do now?

CLIPPERS CRISIS…New arena opens in the fall, but what kind of team will Steve Ballmer put on the floor.  Kawhi Leonard has 200,000 miles on his wheels and 3-years worth of knee issues.  They don’t want to give Paul George a 4th year guarantee.  They are not willing to give James Harden a 3-year extension.  The door is open for Russell Westbrook to exit too.  So what kind of roster are they going to put around Kawhi, and what free agents are willing to come to play for Clippers if Kawhi’s best years are behind him?

TENT REVIVAL SPEECH…Jim Harbaugh praises all things Chargers right now.  The latest speech ‘we have a top tier offensive line’.  Well they do have 3-#1 picks upfront now to protect QB-Justin Herbert, but do they have a  100-reception WR to replace both Keenan Allen or Mike Williams?  Do they have an 1800-yard all purpose RB to replace Austin Eckler?  They never replaced TE-Antonio Gates-who retired?  Anybody think they have any Pro Bowler defensive linemen anymore? Praise hallelujah.  Don’t think they have a complete roster yet despite Harbaugh’s Sunday sermon speeches.

RESET BUTTON…The Kings off loaded high priced-underachiever Pierre Luc Dubois, moving to his 4th team, in this deal to the Washington Capitals.  GM-Rob Blake dumps Dubois’ (7Y-58M) contract on the Capitals after a crummy 16-goal season.  But consider this the worst transaction Blake has ever made.  He traded a 2nd round pick, center Gabe Villardi and defenseman Alex Iafallo and another prospect to get Dubois, who washed out.  And he gets back Darcy Kuemper-journeyman goalie in the Capitals deal, a goalie he had prior.  What a disaster decision.

FREE JOHN GIBSON..The Ducks goalie is stuck in a bad situation in Anaheim and the Ducks are stuck with his contract as this long rebuild continues in Orange County.  Gibson deserves better than what has happened around him.  GM Pat Verbeek’s overhaul continues.  He needs to pay some money, move Gibson now, for veteran players and put some skill around all the kids the Ducks have put on the ice.  This losing has to end sooner than later, and Gibson is a bargaining chip that could speed the rebuild process back.

BLAME GAME…The Oregonian reporting the demise of the Pac 12-began when USC’s last president killed a deal that would have brought Texas and Oklahoma into the league; then created havoc demanding that the Trojans and Bruins get a monster share of the next TV contract because of their big market LA status, not willing to cut up the pie equally; and then taking USC to the Big 10 without detailing what was going on behind closed doors and refusing to share info with the other members of the Pac 12-President’s council.  Nice history Southern Cal leaves behind isn’t it?

Give me  a word to describe all these things now.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “DODGERS-JOB TO DO”

Posted by on June 19th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 



They have all the money in the world.
They draw over 4M fans a game
They have won all these National League West titles
They historically develop really good minor leaguers
They are fearless about investing big money in players
They are willing to pay a steep luxury tax on their increasing (290M) payroll

But now they have some decisions to make about a battered roster.

In a span of 28-hours this weekend they lost star leadoff hitter Mookie Betts with a fractured hand

They lost big money Japanese pitcher Yosh Yamomoto with an inflamed rotator cuff

They lost rookie pitcher Gavin Stone with a strained shoulder lat muscle.

They now have 15-players on the disabled list, but there is never-ever panic in the front office, just good-timely decisions from Andrew Friedman-Stan Kasten’s team.

But now we wait to see what is next.

Trust the farm system, that James Outman is coming back from AAA to regain what he did as a rookie?

Trust that there are still AAA-pitchers who can be plugged in?

Show patience with guys coming off the rehab-DL list, Bobby Miller-Clayton Kershaw-maybe Dustin May?

Re-evaluate whether they made a mistake bypassing the Japanese tradition they used prior, and not limiting Yamamoto to pitch once a week, rather than putting him into the regular rotation?

Allowing Yamamoto to add a fierce slider to his repertoire over a 6-start span that led to this breakdown when he hardly used it in his arsenal in Japan?

Are they confident they can recapture all the things Gavin Lux showed last year at the plate and in the field?

Do they move Mookie Betts back to 2B-or-OF once healthy, since SS has been too big a defensive challenge?

Do they reopen trade talks, and trade away prospects to go get former White Sox OF-Luis Robert, who has been plagued with injuries?  Reopen trade talks with soon to be free agent SS-Willy Adames having a big bounce back season in Milwaukee?  Seek out a rental starting pitcher in the trade market?

Lucky for them they play in the National League Worst (West) where AJ Preller’s baseball-business model is in collapse mode again.  Where the Giants are adrift with injuries and free agent mistakes (Blake Snell).  Where Arizona’s injured pitching staff and slumps have brought them back into mediocrity.  Where the Rockies are crushed by pitching injuries (Freeland-Marquez) and haunted by the complete breakdown of often injured slugger Kris Bryant-who has missed more games than played over a 4-years span of DL-stints.

Shall be interesting to see what happens between now and that August 1st deadline for deals.

We know two things about the Dodgers.  They do make big time deals.  Seldom do they make mistakes on player acquisitions.

Stay tuned.



1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “PADRES–FAILINGS”

Posted by on June 18th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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So if you are keeping score at home, we are almost to the midway point of another underachieving season, and the Padres are below .500 again in the standings.

No consistency at all to anything they are doing. in the midst of a (37-39) season.

They have wasted some sizzling starting pitching by not hitting.
When they hit, the pitching springs leak

They must lead the world in runners caught stealing….in guys picked off bases…and in runners thrown out trying to take extra bases.  At last check, the Padres have lost 26-potential runs by getting guys nailed on the base paths.

Add in the stolen base count against Padres catchers.

Don’t forget the number of errors in the field that have helped opponents rallies.

Don’t look now, the Padres pitching staff now leads MLB in most home runs allowed.

Starters 1-and-2 (Darvish-Musgrove) are hurt.
The middle of the bullpen is struggling again, maybe because of overuse.

The 2-bulldogs in the rotation, (Cease-King) give up home runs and have wild spells too.

Force feeding guys from the El Paso pitching staff has been detrimental as witnessed by the overwhelmed Adam Mazur.

The atrocious record (23-26) vs teams with losing records, is probably as ugly as the team batting averages (.217) against left handed pitching, and this with a big money right handed batting order.

Xander Bogaerts is hurt and wasn’t hitting before that.
Ha Seong Kim looks like he did in year one, overwhelmed at the plate.

Manny Machado is dinged.
Fernando Tatis seems to be just 50% of the power hitter he was.
Luis Arraez is spraying hits but not getting driven in.
There’s a black hole at catcher with Luis Campusano’s weak bat.

Manager Mike Schildt keeps singing the song ‘I believe’ and ‘all is well’, but no one buys that any longer.  This is no longer a ‘small sample size’.

Rumors are rampant, AJ Preller, addicted to always trading, wants to make a deal, to save the season, or maybe save his job.

But upper level ownership says ‘no more trades of top prospects’ having dealt 5-of-10 so far this season.  And no ‘taking on salary’, desperately demanding they stay below the luxury tax.

It’s a mess right now, once they get done playing the 1st place Phillies, the Padres still have 1st place Milwaukee…Atlanta..Boston…and then 1st place Cleveland..1st place Baltimore and always in 1st place-the Dodgers.

In 9-years as GM, AJ Preller has made so many trades, taken on so many name players, given out so many monster contracts, dealt away so many prospects, that there does not seem much of a present and big question marks about what the future is like.

In those 9-years, aside from the 3-month run into the playoffs, the win over the Dodgers and getting to the NLCS with the Phillies, this franchise has accomplished nothing.  On either side of that summer spurt, what has the franchise done?

Big names here, sure.  Big trades there-hell yes.  Big contracts to soon to be aging players-you bet.  But nothing has been accomplished.  Look at the standings at breakfast in the morning, 9-games out of first place.

You tell me Padres fans, are they ‘Contenders….or….Pretenders’?

Maybe the bigger question is Preller’s franchise a ‘House of Cards’, always trying to prevent things from crumbling by making the next big deal?

Going nowhere fast in San Diego.  Keeping score at home, that’s what your scorebook reads..


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday. “FATHER’S DAY-A MEMORY”

Posted by on June 17th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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Father’s Day….What it means to me.Column from my archives:

“Ode to a Father-Gone”

A weekend upon us. For some, time off. For some, time to work. For many, a time to remember. For a few, a time to forget.

A weekend of hustle and bustle. Padres games. U.S. Open golf. NASCAR race. Yard work and picnics and phone calls.

Will you take time to think of days gone by? Your heritage? Your background? Your family? Your dad?

Father’s Day has many meanings to many men.


I wonder what it was like for him to grow up in the depression.

I wonder what it was like to lose his father at the age of 15. Become the man of the house as a mid-teen.

I wonder what it was like to be a minor league pitcher in the 1930s, him wanting to be a St. Louis Cardinal, the disappointment of never getting to the show.

I wonder what it was like to be a 24-year-old in combat in World War II, a scared Seabee, building runways, avoiding snipers, seeing planes burn and men die in places like New Caledonia and Wake Island.

I wonder how hard it was to hold a job and go to night school for six years to get a degree.

I wonder what it was like to see his four children graduate from college, the private joy he must have felt.

I wonder if he ached the year we had only one Christmas present per child because there was no money.

I wonder if he knew that the richness of love and guidance he gave us was valued more than any material gift we got.

I wonder what he thought, or even if he knew he was dying so quickly, of his belief in God, family, friends and his courage.

I wonder if he knows how my career turned out and if he sees his two grandsons and all they are accomplishing.

I wonder when I see him again, what it will be like, and how much fun it will be to ask all the questions I have. I feel I hardly knew him.

We all have memories of a father.

Some who carried briefcases, some who had lunch buckets.

Some who wore three-piece suits, others who wore coveralls.

Some wore work boots, others wore wingtips.

Some had 9-to-5 jobs, others who had two jobs, some had no jobs.

Some loved us, others left us.

Some pushed us, others punished us.

Some drank to excess, others drove us to excellence.

There are good memories and bad, happy times and sad, with the man you called your dad.

As we think about this weekend, let us never forget the one valuable thing our fathers gave us: “This life to live.”