Is eight enough?
The Big 12 is the only conference in the country going with an eighth official this year. The move is being made, in part, to help facilitate the pace of the offenses in the conferences. In short, another guy on the field helps get the ball spotted more quickly and, in theory, that should give the hurry up offenses more time to…well, hurry up.
Ichiro Suzuki has joined Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players in baseball history with 4,000 hits in a career. Of course, he has 2,722 in his 12 years in the American big leagues, the rest were from his 7 seasons in Japan. I have no doubt that had Ichiro played his entire career in the United States he would have ended up being the game’s all-time hits leader. Then maybe Rose would have to make due continually signing autographs at the Emerald Palace in Vegas instead of Caesar’s Palace.
A place like Oklahoma never stops recruiting quarterbacks, really good quarterbacks. The news that head coach Bob Stoops will go with Redshirt Freshman Trevor Knight over Bishop Carroll’s Blake Bell puts the Wichitan into an interesting situation. Of course, he’s remains a play away from becoming the guy, but that’s going to grow thin pretty quickly on a young man who’s so competitive. A lot of things can happen that could keep Bell in the mix, but I would be surprised and I wouldn’t begrudge him if he transferred somewhere at the end of the season.
End of the road---
That resounding thud you heard this week was the Royals playoff chances crashing down around them. The end came quickly, although not mercifully, as they dropped two of three to the Marlins at home, then three of five at Detroit and three straight to the White Sox, the second worst team in the American League. The final straw, ironically, came from former Shocker Conor Gillaspie who homered in the 12th inning of a 3-3 game late last night for the final margin, a final margin made even more painful after they’d blown a 3-0 lead behind their ace James Shields.
Kansas City went as far as their arms could take them, but not the arms that were swinging bats. The Royals are in an interesting place, obviously improved, but still not a legitimate playoff contender. I hope they don’t give back the goodwill they’ve earned in a competitive season by floundering down the stretch. General Manager Dayton Moore did what he needed to relative to his pitching—now can he keep that staff intact and go out and find a run producing bat for the middle of the lineup. Simply put, KC needs a three and four hole hitter. The Tigers have 61 homers in the three/four spots, that’s just two guys. The Royals only have 84 as an entire team.
The first step---
Ryan Braun finally came clean about his PED use—or did he? He only admitted about using an unspecified crème and lozenge in 2011 as he came back from an injury. He released a mea culpa that took care of everyone, including the urine sample collector he threw under the bus to get off on a technicality before the 2012 season. It’s up to the people whose trust he betrayed to determine how sincere the apology was or even if they’ll accept it. I hate to be the cynic in the crowd, but what else could he have done? He does sound contrite, but everyone is after they’ve been caught. Ryan Braun will come back and be a productive big leaguer, but at what cost? The entire toll hasn’t been taken.