HOW ABOUT BOTH SELIG AND ROSE FOR THE HALL OF FAME?
RYAN MILLER HAD QUITE A FIRST WEEK FOR THE BLUES
JOAKIM NOAH SHOULD BE ON EVERY ALL-NBA BALLOT
I never thought I’d be writing this, but I’m all for Bud Selig reinstating Pete Rose.
This will be the final Major League Baseball season with Selig as commissioner. I’m 99 percent certain that he’ll be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as quickly as possible after he steps down. I know many of you don’t agree and most of you probably think Rose is more deserving of a plaque.
Many people say Selig has done more harm than good for the game he loves. I don’t think that is accurate or fair. He’s an easy target. He isn’t charismatic. He isn’t handsome. He sold used cars. He owned a major league team and some of his critics insist that he favors the Milwaukee Brewers.
And he was in charge during the Steroids Era. That is the one major blemish on Selig’s resume’.
Is that fair?
When the juicers were hitting baseballs over fences at unprecedented rates and attendance soared in major league stadiums across the land, most of the people connected to the sport – the players, their union, the owners, most of the media, the long-ball loving fans, and yes, the commissioner – wear wearing blinders and looked the other way.
After the fact, most fans and media folk think steroids were a blemish on the sport. But for a long time, hardly anyone protested.
Selig has since engineered the toughest drug testing program in sports. His critics have been slow to fully credit him for that.
The current issue of Sports Illustrated has Pete Rose on the cover. The magazine includes an exclusive book excerpt from “Pete Rose: An American Dilemma”, by Kostya Kennedy.
The excerpt is very sympathetic to Rose, who remains banished from baseball for betting on games while he was managing Cincinnati Reds.
The highlighted paragraph from the excerpt: “Rose has been banished for the incalculable damage he MIGHT have done to the foundation of the game. Steroid users are reviled for the damage they actually DID.”
But the steroid users weren’t banned. Rose was.
I hope Selig – in a final bold move before he retires -- lifts baseball’s ban on Rose.
I believe Rose has paid his dues. No player loved the game more than Charlie Hustle. He has been an outcast for 25 years. That would be a very long prison term. He has apologized for betting on games – always on his Reds to win. He has apologized and now it sounds sincere.
The Steroid Era was under Selig’s watch. All things considered, that should not keep him out of Cooperstown.
Showing compassion for Rose and reinstating him to baseball would be a classy way for Selig to bow out.
Selig’s plaque would mention that he was in charge during the Steroid Era. Rose’s plaque would mention that he was banned for betting on baseball and reinstated by a forgiving commissioner who recognized that allowing Rose to make the Hall of Fame would be a classy gesture and one welcomed by the vast majority of fans.
RYAN MILLER FROM HOCKEY OUTHOUSE TO PENTHOUSE
The Buffalo Sabres did goalie Ryan Miller a tremendous favor by trading him to the St. Louis Blues.
Many NHL observers figured the Blues were a top-shelf goalie removed from being the team to beat for this season’s Stanley Cup. Now they have one.
Miller was 4-0 in his first week with St. Louis:
Sunday, March 2 – won 4-2 at Phoenix...23 saves
Tuesday – won 4-2 over Tampa Bay...15 saves
Thursday – won 2-1 at Nashville...20 saves
Saturday – won 2-1 at Columbus...26 saves.
Miller got a rest Sunday night and the Blues won 3-2 on the road against Minnesota with backup goalie Brian Elliott.
JOAKIM NOAH: ARE THERE FIVE MORE WORTHY NBA MVP PICKS?
The Chicago Bulls probably are the consistently hardest-working squad in the NBA and Joakim Noah is the heart and soul of the team.
Noah has one of the ugliest shots in the NBA but be more than makes up for it with his rebounding, passing and defense. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season. He put on quite a show in Sunday’s 95-88 overtime home win over the Miami Heat: 42 minutes; 20 points (9-for-16); 12 rebounds; 7 assists.
There are five spots on the ballots of NBA Most Valuable Player voters. LeBron James (Miami) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) could combine for all of the 1-2 MVP votes, but I don’t how close observers of the league could not include Noah among their 3-4-5 MVP choices.
It is difficult to imagine the New Orleans Saints without offensive sparkplug Darren Sproles. The team is trying to trade him and is expected to release him if that fails. The temptation is to say Sproles would be a terrific addition to the Buffalo Bills or many other teams – but not so fast. He’s 30 and his production is slipping. He could lose it fast. He’s been an excellent player but probably isn’t worth the contract he’ll be looking for.
I saw Rochester RazorSharks Lawrence Moten at the WHAM 1180 studio last week and joked that his team was a 63-point favorite for Saturday’s home game against the Erie Hurricane. I was selling the Sharks short. They won by 83 (170-87)!
The National Lacrosse League had a profitable Saturday at the box office: 17,044 in Denver; 15,330 in Buffalo; 8,560 in Rochester; 7,898 in Edmonton...The Edmonton Rush won 10-9 over visiting Vancouver to become the first NLL team ever to start 9-0.
I’m sure there are candidates to succeed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on his own staff, but would you be surprised if former Duke player Bobby Hurley winds up coaching the Blue Devils? He’s currently doing a solid job at the University of Buffalo.
In the biggest thoroughbred horse race of the year so far, seven-year-old Game On Dude won the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap Saturday in California. It was the third time Game On Dude has won the race (2011, 2013 and 2014). Will Take Charge finished second and favorite Mucho Macho Man faded to fourth. Game On Dude, ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, paid $9 to win.
The return of Jerami Grant and a strong game inside from Rakeem Christmas were the obvious difference for Syracuse in Sunday’s 74-58 road victory over Florida State. When the Orange are healthy and clicking, they can beat any team in the country on a good day or night. The Seminoles figure to get their revenge in football at the Carrier Dome Oct. 11. I wonder if the defending champions will score more points than the school’s basketball team did on Sunday.
I have believed for months that it is inevitable that the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will meet in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals. Last week, the Heat (0-3) and Pacers (0-4) were a combined 0-7. I think they’re bored and expect them to bounce back this week.