The Answer Man makes his last summer visit:
What do you think of rumors that Kirk Cousins (Washington) or Mark Sanchez (Philadelphia) are trade possibilities to the St. Louis Rams to replace quarterback Sam Bradford (out for the season with a knee injury)?
ANSWER: I don’t blame the Rams for pursuing Cousins and/or Sanchez, but I sure hope the Buffalo Bills re plugged into their possible availability and quietly in the bidding, too.
Tampa Bay signed veteran QB Josh McCown during the offseason. Wise move. I’, sure you noticed that he looked very good last Saturday against the Bills.
The veteran McCown, who was a dynamite replacement (13 TD passes, 1 INT, 109.9 rating) for injured Chicago Bears starter Jay Cutler last season, fill-in for the Chicago Bears last season, will start while second-year man Mike Glennon sits and learns.
I wish the Bills had signed McCown to at least compete with EJ Manuel this season. Buffalo’s QB situation is an accident waiting to happen – isn’t it? Admit it, even if you think Manuel is the short- and long-term franchise QB.
Isn’t Brian Gionta a cinch to be captain of the Buffalo Sabres?
ANSWER: Of course. Who else?
Gionta was captain of the Montreal Canadiens, so how could he be “demoted” in his first of three seasons with the Sabres?
No holdover Buffalo player remotely compares with Gionta as a candidate to wear the “C”.
How will you remember this summer’s Rochester Rattlers?
ANSWER: Probably the least-appreciated team in Rochester’s pro sports history.
They enjoyed a tremendous summer – including last Saturday’s thrilling 12-11 loss to the loaded Denver Outlaws in the championship game -- but hardly anyone in town seemed to notice.
The Rattlers reportedly will be back for at least one more Major Lacrosse League season (though I’m sure the MLL would jump at the chance to jump to a bigger and possibly more receptive market – such as Atlanta).
The Rattlers figure to be a top-shelf team again next season. Maybe more people will take notice in this lacrosse hotbed.
The disparity between the Rattlers and Outlaws on the field this summer was razor thin. The disparity at the gate was vast. Denver led the eight-team league in attendance (10,383 per game) while Rochester was seventh, ahead of only the expansion Florida Launch (1,329 to 1,204).
What do you think about the possibility of an LPGA Seniors tournament in Rochester?
ANSWER: No thank you. Rochester merits more than an LPGA consolation prize, and the Lopez-Whitworth-Carner-Sheehan glory years were a long time ago.
Who is the frontrunner for American League MVP?
ANSWER: Most of the analysts say Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, baseball’s new poster boy, and I’m not complaining. Some people think he should’ve been leaguer MVP in 2012 and/or 2013 (finished second both years to Miguel Cabrera).
But I still like Seattle’s Robinson Cano for AL MVP because he been the main man in the resurgence of the Mariners while the New York Yankees so obviously have missed him this season.
Will the United States win next month’s Ryder Cup?
ANSWER: Not likely. Europe is the big favorite – and justifiably so.
BOVADA odds: Europe bet $185 to win $100; USA bet $100 to win $175; tie bet $100 to win $1,100.
The Europeans have had fun beating up on their American peers lately.
Will the Ryder Cup’s TV ratings plunge minus Tiger Woods?
ANSWER:I could be very wrong on this one, but I don’t think so. For maybe the first time ever, a player from Europe – Rory McIlroy . Also, American sports fans are extremely interested when one of trheir national teams in an underdog – for example, men’s hockey in the 1980 Olympics and the men’s soccer in every World Cup.
Did the trade for Kevin Love clinch the NBA’s Eastern Conference for the Cleveland Cavaliers?
ANSWER: “Cinch” probably is a slight stretch, but I’d give them a 90 percent chance to represent the East in the NBA Finals. I’d make them a toss-up in the Finals vs. San Antonio, Oklahoma City or the Los Angeles Clippers.
If you were the new commissioner of baseball, what is the first thing you would do in an attempt to speed up the game?
ANSWER: On an experimental basis -- in a designated Single-A league next season –I wouldn’t permit batters to step out of the box between pitches with no runners on base. I believe the games would be significantly faster and that batters would adapt without a significant drop in production. Batting gloves also would last longer without being adjusted after every pitch.
Who is the MVP of the New York Yankees?
Answer: Mark Teixeira or Carlos Beltran – just kidding. This one is easy – Dellin Betances in a walk, rather in a strikeout. Lots of strikeouts.
Betances is the main reason the Yankees haven’t missed the retired Mariano Rivera this season. In fact, the back end of the team’s bullpen this season – Betances in the eighth inning and David Roberston in the ninth inning – has been even better than Robertson (eighth) and Rivera (ninth) last season.
2013 – Robertson 70 games; 5-1 record; 2.04 ERA; 3 saves; 33 holds; 66 1/3 innings; 51 hits allowed; 18 walks; 77 strikeouts; .236 batting average against…Rivera 64 games; 6-2 record; 2.11 ERA; 44 saves; 64 innings; 58 hits allowed; 9 walks; 54 strikeouts; .236 batting average against…TOTALS: 136 appearances; 11-3 record; 2.27 ERA; 33 holds; 47 saves; 130 1/3 innings; 109 hits allowed; 27 walks; 131 strikeouts.
2014 – Betances 57 games; 5-0 record; 1.42 ERA; 1 save; 19 holds; 76 innings; 36 hits allowed; 20 walks; 113 strikeouts; .141 batting average against…Robertson 49 games; 2-4 record; 3.06 ERA; 34 saves; 50 innings pitched; 34 hits allowed; 19 walks; 76 strikeouts; .188 batting average against…TOTALS: 107 appearances; 7-4 record; 2.07 ERA; 19 holds; 35 saves; 126 innings; 70 hits allowed; 39 walks; 189 strikeouts.