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Bob Matthews' Column

How Did The Bills Do In Free Agency?

 
How Did The Bills Do In Free Agency?

We all know the Buffalo Bills won’t be using the No. 9 overall pick of the NFL draft on a quarterback or a running back. And probably not a defensive lineman or defensive lack. The Bills are relatively set at those positions or sold on QB EJ Manuel.

I did a survey of 30 mock drafts and it was interesting to see the assortment of projected No. 9 picks for Buffalo:

OT Jake Matthews 5

WR Mike Evans 4

OT Taylor Lewan 4

LB Khalil Mack 4

WR Sammy Watkins 4

LB-DE Anthony Barr 3

TE Eric Ebron 2

LB C.J. Mosley 2

OT Greg Robinson 2.

Many of those players will be selected before No. 9...ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. (Lewan) and Todd McShay (Matthews) mention Evans and Ebron as tempting picks for Buffalo but believe the top priority for the Bills is to keep Manuel upright and that the team can add a high quality player or two at WR and/or TE in a deep draft at those positions...Mack is Kiper’s new No. 1 overall pick.

 

RAZORSHARKS ADD TWO TOP PLAYERS FOR TITLE SHOWDOWN

The Rochester Razorsharks are 13-1 in the Premier Basketball League and have t6hroughly outclassed and humiliated most of their opponents. So why beef up for the playoffs?

The Bloomington Flex.

Bloomington is 13-0 and the two-time Premier Basketball League champions.

Rochester and Bloomington won’t meet in the regular season but appear headed for a best-of-three title showdown.

The Sharks this week added point guard Jerice Crouch and high-scoring swingman Ryan Anderson.

Crouch and Anderson were teammates this winter open the Ottawa SkyHawks of the National Basketball League of Canada. After a 40-game regular season (twice as long as the PBL season), Ottawa (21-19 record) barely missed the playoffs. Crouch and Anderson became available to Rochester.

Crouch is a terrific all-around point guard at this level (I’m never sure what “level” the PBL is, but Bloomington and Rochester clearly are the best teams). He averaged 13.4 points and led Ottawa in assists this winter.

 Anderson is a big scorer and outside shooting threat. The former Nebraska Cornhuskers star averaged 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds for Ottawa this season. More interestingly, he averaged 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Bloomington team that beat Rochester in last year’s championship round. He played for the NBA D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce in the 2011-12 season (7.8 ppg).

Anderson will make his RazorSharks debut Saturday at home against the Lake Michigan Admirals (5-7 record and a much tougher opponent than the Erie Hurricane.

CUDDYER THE MOST RECENT EX-RED WING MLB BATTING KING

I don’t imagine many baseball fans know off hand who led the National League in hitting last season – Mike Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies (.331).

Here are the other former Red Wings players or managers who led were MLB batting champions:

George Sisler AL 1920, 1922

Johnny Mize NL 1939

Stan Musial NL 1943, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1957

Dixie Walker NL 1944

Harry Walker NL 1947

Frank Robinson AL 1966

Joe Mauer AL 2006, 2008, 2009.

MY NEW STANCE ON BASEBALL’S HALL OF FAME: LET THEM ALL IN

My new take on eligibility for baseball’s Hall of Fame is that everyone should be eligible – including Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson. I’d give the steroid cheats full credit for their ill-gotten padded stats.

I believe what a player did between the lines should be all that matters.

But here’s the catch. The plaques of the players with shady pasts would be prominently displayed. For example:

Pete Rose – Was banned from baseball for betting on games, including his own (always to win). Reinstated 25 years later by outgoing commissioner Bud Selig.

Joe Jackson – Banned from baseball as a member of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox. There is no evidence that he did anything to lose the World Series to Cincinnati and he insisted he did not until his death in 1951.

Barry Bonds – A great player whose stats soared during the height of the Steroid Era. An admitted user for a portion of his career.

Roger Clemens – A great pitcher who had is suspected of taking advantage of illegal substances in the Steroid Era.

Bud Selig – Long span as commissioner included the Steroid Era, a low point in baseball history. His overall performance was stellar (I’d then list the positives under his watch).

SHORT SHOTS

The latest example of why it can be frustrating to be a Buffalo Bills fan: The Bills lost one of the NFL’s three-best safeties (Jairus Byrd) and the team they’re trying to catch in the AFC East – New England – lost cornerback Aqib Talib andf replaced him with an even better CB – Darrelle Revis.

It also hurt to Denver wide receiver Eric Decker sign with AFC East rival New York Jets. He benefited from playing with Peyton Manning but he’s still going to be the No. 1 WR for the Jets and would’ve had the same status with the Bills.

Darren Sproles will make the Philadelphia Eagles even more fun to watch. New Orleans is going to regret trading him and Eagles coach Chip Kelly is sure to maximize Sproles’ talents. Philadelphia got him for the ridiculously low price of a fifth-round draft pick.

IL Indoor.com this week had an interesting take on the Rochester Knighthawks: “If the Rochester Knighthawks wanted a slogan for their season so far, it could be “Quietly Going About Their Business.’ Despite the fact they are the two-time defending champions going for a first-ever National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup threepeat, they have been flying under the radar...At 7-3, they are just a game behind Buffalo for top spot in the East. They have won four of their last five games and are 6-1 against East opponents. However, no one is really talking about the K-hawks....Rochester has kind of faded into the background.”

Ty Pilson of IL Indoor.com. noted that the home crowd for the 9-0 Edmonton  Rush barely topped 8,000 last Saturday night despite a special appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

The Rochester Red Wings will introduce a convenient new service for ticket buyers this season.  Fans can choose seats on line and print the tickets before going to Frontier Field. From their homes, fans can get the seats they prefer and won’t need to wait in line at the stadium.

The baseball Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hit in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is being by Robert Edward Auctions as part of its April catalog. The reserve price is $100,000. Fisk’s home run hit the foul pole and gave the Red Sox a 7-6 victory over Cincinnati. Reds outfielder George Foster retrieved the ball until 1999, when it was sold at auction for $133,273. Red Sox fan Rich Eflman was the buyer then and he’s the seller now, because his children have no interest in it...The most expensive ball sold at auction in Red Sox history was $418,250 for the one that went through first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

 

 

 

 

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