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Bob Matthews' Column

Should Girardi Change His Number To "0"?

 
Should Girardi Change His Number To

SHOULD GIRARDI CHANGE HIS NUMBER TO “0”?


MAYBE FAIR WILL GET MORE TOUCHES NEXT GAME


RONDA ROUSEY PROVED SHE BELONGS


New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi wears No. 28 in honor of his pursuit of the 28th world championship in team history.


 Maybe he should switch to uniform number 0 for 2013 because his team has zero chance of winning the World Series. They’d do well to make the playoffs.


The loss of Curtis Granderson Sunday compounds the biggest problem for this edition of the Yankees – lack of power. Granderson, who leads the majors with 84 home runs in the past two seasons, will miss at least the first five weeks of the regular season with a broken right forearm.


The Yankees can’t afford a sputtering start in the loaded American League East, and they’re already behind the eight ball with a projected starting outfield of Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. If they played a full season, the quartet might combine for 30 HRs. Granderson can’t return soon enough.


New York has lost 94 HRs and 279 RBI from last year’s team – and that doesn’t include Granderson and Alex Rodriguez (who knows when he’ll be back?).


The Yankees will try to be competitive this season with pitching and defense. The starting rotation looks good on paper but is loaded with question marks. The bullpen look strong – assuming 43-year-old closer Mariano Rivera hasn’t lost anything. The defense figures to be relatively sure-handed but won’t have exceptional range.


GET THE BALL TO FAIR – PLEASE!


Monday night at Marquette would be a great time for Syracuse starting guards Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams to think shoot second and feed the ball to C.J. Fair first.


Saturday’s 57-46 home loss to Georgetown was rather typical if you share my dismay and frustration for why SU’s best scoring threat and most consistent player is so seldom the first option in SU’s offense.


Triche and Carter-Williams were a combined 6x19 from the field (including 1x9 from 3-point range). Fair was 5x10 (0x1 from 3-point range).


For the season:


Triche – 137x322 (.425) including 39x131 (.298) from 3-point range
Carter-Williams – 108x280 (.379) including 29x92 (.283) from 3-point range


Fair – 140x290 (.483) including 15x36 (.417) from 3-point range.
Another plus for more touches for Fair: He’s much better at the foul line (.824; 89x108) than Triche(.743; 84x113)  or Carter-Williams (.744; 99x133).


Maybe Monday night will see Fair take more shots than Triche and Carter-Williams. But I don’t expect to see it happen.


ROUSEY CAME THROUGH IN UFC DEBUT


Danica Patrick proved she belongs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series by earning the pole position for Sunday’s 55th Daytona 500 and for finishing a solid eighth in “America’s Race.” I hope even her harshest critics were impressed. She’s a good auto racing driver – not just a good female auto racing driver.


Ronda Rousey lived up to the hype in the first UFC female fight last Saturday night in Anaheim. UFC president Dana White, who once vowed never to have women fighters in MAA’s biggest promotion, decided to make the charismatic Rousey the headliner in UFC 157’s main event.


Former Marine Liz Carmouche, a 17-to-1 underdog, put up a good fight but lost as Rousey boosted her MMA record to 7-0 – all by first-round submission via armbar.


White has signed 10 female fighters and is expected to add 5 more soon. The crowd in Anaheim roared their approval during and after their fight and Rousey figures to headline more UFC cards in the future.


The crowd wasn’t nearly as pleased by Lyoto Machida’s victory over Dan Henderson in the relatively dull No. 2 bout on the crad. Machida supposedly earned a shot at the winner of the Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen light-heavyweight title fight set for UFC 159.


SHORT SHOTS


Former Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was among the players mentioned as a possible No. 8 overall pick  in the NFL draft by Buffalo. An echocardiogram revealed Sunday that he has a heart condition that figures to hurt his draft status and – worst-case scenario – could threaten his career. Imagine the flack if Lotuelei’s heart condition were detected after the Bills drafted him.


The amazing Chicago Blackhawks are 15-0-3 (all three losses in shootouts) after a 1-0 home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets and stretched their NHL-record to a season-opening 18 straight games with at least one point in the standings. They’re 9-0-3 in games decided by one goal….Chicago ranks 1st in point percentage (.917; 33 of 36 possible points in the standings), 1st in fewest goals allowed (1.78 per game), 2nd in penalty killing (.896) and 4th  in scoring (3.11 goals per game)…This week: home vs. Edmonton Monday night…at St. Louis Thursday night…host Columbus Friday night…at Detroit Sunday.
The not-so amazing Buffalo Sabres are 4-12-1 and have been outscored 60-41 since their 2-0 start this season. It wasn’t all fired coach Lindy Ruff’s fault. Does anyone still believe the Sabres have better than average overall talent?...This week’s games: at Tampa Bay Tuesday…at Florida Thursday…home vs. New Jersey Saturday…at New York Rangers Sunday.


The Rochester Knighthawks aren’t the only National Lacrosse League team having problems scoring goals this season. I believe the league should seriously consider making the goals wider and higher. The defensemen generally are more athletic than they were in the early years of the league and most of the goalies are as wide as ever and loaded with space-eating protective gear. Teams used to score 20 goals regularly. That’s no longer the case and that’s not entertainment. NLL fans want to see more goals. That should the NLL’s advantage over hockey and indoor soccer.

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