Wednesday, November 28, 2012

11/28 (Wednesday) Quickie

If I had a Baseball Hall of Fame vote...
Barry Bonds? In. Roger Clemens? In. Sammy Sosa? In.

The more likely scenario? Renegade voters punishing each on their first time on the ballot by withholding support -- for now, maybe forever.*

* - "Forever" defined as "Until enough voters qualify to override the old-school sensibility."

The Baseball Hall's biggest problem isn't letting in would-be cheaters -- there are plenty of those already in the Hall (particularly if you think use of now-banned amphetamines, a staple of baseball from its origins until the moment they were banned a few years ago, should qualify).

The Baseball Hall's biggest problem is that the BBWAA voters responsible for the shrine -- the fans' shrine -- have taken personal moralizing to an absurd place.

Barry Bonds is one of the five greatest hitters in MLB history.
Roger Clemens is one of the five greatest pitchers in MLB history.

It erodes the Hall more to conspicuously not include them than it does to include them with notations on their plaques about the PED controversy that ended up defining their stellar careers.


PED, cont'd: Adderall is the new greenie. Is it so hard to find a doctor to give you a prescription for your "ADD?" That's what most of the league (NFL and MLB) does.

College Hoops: Indiana re-affirms their bonafides by crushing UNC, a team that has spent November proving that preseason hype is meaningless. Meanwhile, I'm intrigued by Michigan -- I'm typically down on Big Ten teams (with a possible exception of Michigan State in March), but they are fiesty. Can't wait for those Indiana-Michigan games later this season.

Conference realignment: ACC adding Louisville. The Cardinals would instantly become the second-best (best?) football team in the league and the second-best basketball team (consider Rick Pitino vs. Coach K at least twice a year). It's a solid add for the ACC -- and another tough loss for the Big East.

NBA: Kobe 40. As he has aged, Kobe has become one of my favorite players. His 40 last night (while battling a cold) was classic Bryant... but I can still enjoy the schadenfreude of the Laker-hater watching them lose to the Pacers at the buzzer.

NFL: Jason Babin will be an integral part -- possibly postseason MVP -- of whichever contender picks him up. Consider that a prediction.

Heisman: Yes, I'd vote for Te'o. No, I'm not happy that I'm with Skip Bayless on this one.

CFB Jobs: Just because Auburn offers Les Miles a job doesn't mean he will take it. I would be shocked if he left an incredible gig at LSU for an iffy one elsewhere in the SEC West.

Meanwhile, Bill O'Brien is staying at Penn State: Let's add the obligatory "...for now." I'll take the under on him fulfilling the duration of his contract -- at some point, he'll do well enough that an NFL team will come calling and he will leave the rebuilding at PSU to someone else. (To his credit, he did a pretty good job in Year 1.)

Suh vs. the NFL: Did he mean to kick Matt Schaub? The league says it's tough to know his "intent," and watching the video it might -- might -- have simply been an accident. Don't get me wrong: Suh clearly meant to kick Schaub somewhere -- it's just not clear he meant to go there. Based on his track record, Suh shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt.

RIP Marvin Miller: One of the Top 10 (Top 5?) most influential people in sports over the past century. Let me join everyone else: That he never made the Baseball Hall of Fame is a stain on the Hall's legacy that will never be fixed, even if they let him in posthumously. Where was the BBWAA morality police on that? Miller enjoyed a meaningful life -- not much more you can ask for.

And also a sad RIP to ESPN's John Zehr, a fixture among the company's digital leadership for a long time and one of the architects of ESPN's digital strategies, particularly mobile. He was also a great person and someone beloved by his colleagues. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

-- D.S.

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