Swish and Bobble by Bob Ryan

houston final 4The NCAA Championship game was a great game—two very talented teams that took turns “making runs” throughout the game.  Some observations for the lounge chair as the only #1 seed left standing, N. Carolina, was upended by Villanova 77-74 …

….N.Carolina made one of their long early runs by lobbing the ball inside to their post players-who would catch & either dunk or lay it off the glass…this maneuver didn’t exist  after halftime so credit Coach Wright & Nova staff for the antidote for this lob play.

….Coach Roy Williams could frequently be seen urging his players to speed up the pace…rarely in this contest did the Tar Heels capitalize on fast breaks/run outs.

….The Carolina come-back in the last minute(s) was text-book… a well-drilled team with plenty of talent demonstrated how to rally late.

….Villanova built their 2nd half lead by using picks by their post-players out on the perimeter..the Carolina defensive post players did not challenge the hot-shooting Wildcats in the 3 point range effectively…thus…Nova opened up a double digit lead

…the game tying shot by Carolina’s Marcus Paige was incredible…he double pumped, hung in the air and then drained the shot—really spectacular…only to see

….the unbelievable 3-point shot Kris Jenkins, who’s claimed that his range reaches just short of the 3 point circle, had an opening, took the short pass from Ryan Arcidiacono, who had drawn Jenkins defender a step toward him…and swish…a national title shot

…I loved watching…and admiring…the wonderful passing game of Carolina throughout game

…I didn’t think of it at the moment but now…with Carolina under heavy scrutiny for illegal grades, classes, and other types of classroom shenanigans…I think Coach Roy Williams will retire before the “stuff” hits the fan @ Chapel Hill, N. Carolina.

…saw that the NCAA TV ratings were down….fans don’t watch entire games any more..the concentration level is 160 characters or 15 sec video or 1 min chat or a 20 word tweet..viewers don’t or can’t go beyond these “extended” time levels

…the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) was once viewed as bigger than the NCAA because the championship was played in Madison Sq Garden…now the NIT represents (Not In Tournament) as it runs simultaneously as the NCAA and is filled with mostly #4, 5 teams in the larger conferences and #2 or #3 in smaller conferences…no one cares…..my suggestion is move the NIT to the start of the next season…have the elite 8 of the previous NCAA tournament play on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the site of the lowest seed—let’s give the poor guy on the bottom a chance, heh?  Now…that might have some interest. What could it hurt?

….around the MLB at least one team seemed to be choking after swallowing the huge contracts of over-paid, over-age, under-skilled veterans.  Atlanta released outright Nick Swisher ($15/mil yearly contract), Michael Bourn ($14/mil) and Emilo Bonifcio (a mere $1.2/mil)….two wrongs don’t make a right..if these guys don’t fit in..why keep them just because they have thick salaries. If they aren’t going to help you be compete…why keep them at all?  You can lose just as well with cheap players as expensive players.  True.. the Indians will be partly responsible for Swisher & Bourn but Atlanta just released 36% of their $81.2 salary structure… guess the Brave mgmt. team is going to reload when the new Atlanta stadium is ready to open.

…on the other hand, Dodger fans are upset with the organizations lack of signing in the off-season…we need the Wallenda’s to walk these tight ropes…too little or too much?

…the Cards lost the first 2 games to the Pirates…so what..it’s 1.23% of the season…but some cloudy issues did come into focus a bit…

…the Cards do miss Peralta’s steadiness at SS…. He makes the routine and routine+  plays.. and does it every time…Al Diaz’s bobble on a DP ball, cost the Cards the 2nd game…his feet were too close, took his eyes off the grounder – those are mistakes that MLB players should not be making..and hopefully… he won’t make many more bobbles like that one…

….also the Cards indicated…after they brought up Diaz… that Jeff Gyorko was obtained to be a 2B and 3B player primarily… you know how often Carpenter sits out (as often as Lou Gehrig did—he played 2130 consecutive games)..so it means that the Cards wanted to use Gyorko alternately with Kolton Wong in the ol’ lefty vs righty matchup….I’m sure that Wong could see it playing out…no wonder he’s pressing at the plate…looks like he’s trying too hard … swinging too hard….to me…I realize that the Cards were determined this winter to improve their offensive output vs left-handers but must EVERY batter be right-handed—move Holliday to 1B, use 3 rh hitters(when Pham returns)  in the OF and have 2 lefties-Carp & Wong in the lineup on most days.

…btw…only ONE MLB player played in all 162 games last year—Manny Machado(Balt)

…say what you want…at least Tony Cruz was there every day….this Pain-a is out already—the latest word is that he’ll be out a month…maybe they can put him on a diet

…singwhen Oh looks terrific….keep singing big boy

…too many big swings and strikeouts by Card batters…don’t blame the coaches…these pros are responsible for themselves…they don’t give praise to the coach for their HR..do they?

…Grichuk is being fed pitches over the waist…he’s swing straight through them…ugh

…why is yadi hitting #5…do you want the clean-up hitter to get any good pitches?

…if you missed it—because the Cardinals whispered it…Marco Gonzalez is being evaluated for an elbow injury on his left arm…a 2nd opinion has been called in to further evaluate…this is a different issue than last year when it was his shoulder…the Cards press corp rivals the KGB for providing bad news about themselves

…I wish that there were more deals like this one….Indians signed Joba Chamberlain to a $1mil base contract with $2mil available via incentives—get paid on performance

The starting pitchers for opening day were rated…take a peek at the top 15 …in order … according to this Internet expert(not me…no one would call me an Internet expert)

  1. Clayton Kershaw — Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Jake Arrieta — Chicago Cubs
  3. Max Scherzer — Washington Nationals
  4. Zack Greinke — Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Felix Hernandez — Seattle Mariners
  6. David Price— Boston Red Sox 
  7. Madison Bumgarner — San Francisco Giants
  8. Chris Sale — Chicago White Sox
  9. Cole Hamels — Texas Rangers
  10. Dallas Keuchel — Houston Astros
  11. Matt Harvey — New York Mets
  12. Adam Wainwright — St. Louis Cardinals.
  13. Corey Kluber — Cleveland Indians.
  14. Chris Archer — Tampa Bay Rays
  15. Sonny Gray — Oakland A’s  

…Jake Arrieta seems high to me….heck…the guy has pitched only ONE good year!

Best rotations in NL?

Who do you like?  Rate them urselves..I’ve listed them by my preference (top to #10)

….Mets-Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, Wheeler

….Cards—Wainwright, Wacha, Martinez, Leake, Garcia

….Cubs—Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Hammel, Hendricks

….Houston—Keuchel, McHugh, Fiers, Feldman, Fister

….Dodgers—Kershaw, Kazmir, Maeda, Wood, Stripling

….Giants—Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzijia, Peavy, Cain

….San Diego—Ross, Shields, Cashner, Pomeranz, Rea

….Ariz—Greinke, S.Miller, Corbin, DeLaRosa, Ray

….Pirates-Cole, Liriano, Niese, Locke, Nicasio

….Miami-Fernandez, Chen, Conley, Koehler, Cosart

Odds & ends…

….Blues look like they’re flying into the playoffs….is this the year that we win 1 or 2 series? But…why the Blackhawks first?   Ugh

….probably no one cares but I’m happy that the Rams let Jared Cook go…what a bust..he became the typical StL Ram…great athlete who’s ability ended at shoulder level

…Hannah Perryman broke the all-time D-II Career strikeout mark last weekend as the UMSL Tritons  (37-4) split with Truman State in GLVC action in Kirksville.

Your thoughts are always invited…respond right on Prepcasts site…or email them back to me..no one is right or wrong….throw us YOUR thoughts


  1. Larry Eveker says:

    Go Cards……That’s all I’m going to say.

  2. Jim Pleimann says:

    People have started to come back from the ledge.
    Ratings down because games are on too late. Kids can’t watch.
    Bob thinks Pena should be the new Nutri-System spokesman. Poor Marie Osmond is out of a job!
    You’re right about Jared Cook – no one cares. They could sign Cam Newton and I wouldn’t read about it!

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