A Day for Sports

Castro’s lapse in June — he forgot how many outs there were in the fifth inning, and the eventual winning run scored as a result.

By Lloyd Graff.

Back in the day, I was the Sports Editor and Columnist of The Michigan Daily, the best college newspaper in the world. Today I’m returning to my roots and writing unabashedly about one of my true loves – Sports.

An important change has apparently taken place in Major League Baseball. The majority of players seem to have decided for various reasons, primarily fear of getting caught, to abstain from “performance enhancing drugs.” They are angry that some of their peers who they are competing against are still getting an unfair advantage and potentially robbing them of a job or a title. You now see baseball administration and players wanting the guys trying to “game” the game punished. Ryan Braun was the National League Most Valuable Player in 2011. Now he is banned for the rest of the season. And the players, even on his team, the Milwaukee Brewers, do not appear to be complaining about it.

I must admit, I enjoyed watching Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa hit thousands of mammoth homers, but watching Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera wallop them today is just as entertaining. I just hope they aren’t fooling us too.

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The National Football League is starting training camp again. The most compelling players are the quarterbacks. I love how great young guys, including several who were relative unknowns, are taking over the game. Last year Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, the two biggest names coming out of college, made a big splash, but then there was Russell Wilson, a third round pick out of Wisconsin who turned around Seattle, and Colin Kaepernick, the unknown from Nevada-Reno who almost won the Super Bowl, but lost to the underrated Joe Flacco, the best player to come out of the University of Delaware.

I find it interesting and surprising that the most popular football jersey today is not Flacco’s or Griffin’s, but Kaepernick of the 49ers, the fully tattooed, mixed race, adopted son of white parents who was not even recruited by a major college as a quarterback.

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I love NBA basketball. I think the NBA playoffs always bring some of the most compelling sports moments of the year. This off-season we saw Coach Doc Rivers traded to the Los Angeles Clippers from Boston. I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before. Rivers is a terrific coach who would be wasted on a Celtics team just beginning a rebuilding process. With the Clippers, he has a team that can win the NBA Championship. If a coach does not have the respect of his players in the ego rampant NBA, it cannot win. Rivers can make the difference.

I think that in general, a baseball manager is less important than an NFL or NBA coach, but Joe Madden of Tampa Bay, is the exception. The Rays are a nice small-market low-budget team, but Madden’s enthusiasm, creativity and leadership makes them a favorite to win the World Series. Bob Melvin of Oakland is also outstanding. I think the American League champion will be one of those two teams, even if Bartolo Colon gets suspended from the A’s.

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Starlin Castro with his Rolls Royce

A little bit of inside baseball, especially for Chicago Cubs fans. We hear from a close source that Starlin Castro, the shortstop who was going to be a Cubbie superstar but is having a stinker of a season, is a huge partier who stays out all night and drives home at 8:00 a.m. in his Rolls Royce ahead of a Wrigley Field day game.

Castro is currently batting .249 with 6 homers and a bunch of errors. He does look better on the road. Wonder why.

Question: With the current knowledge about concussions, would you want your son or grandson to play competitive football?

Lloyd Graff is Owner and Chief Space Filler at Today’s Machining World and Graff-Pinkert & Co.

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8 thoughts on “A Day for Sports

  1. Lucy Glib

    Absolutely not. Last I heard, the average lifespan for a (non-QB) NFL player who plays 4 years or more? 55. As in “I can’t drive.” This is truly scary, and makes me not even want to WATCH football, quite frankly.

    I hope Castro is careful, for reasons other than his batting average. Parts of Cardinal nation remain shaken up from Josh Hancock’s fatal accident in 2007, which occurred mere months after he won a World Series ring.

  2. DEMojica

    The problem with baseball, beside the “PH Drugs” is how dumb they play!!! These kids need to stay in the minors for at least 500 games, before being bougth up to the majors. The money that the fan is paying, at least give us a “product” that knows how to play the game. If I want to see minor league play, I go to see the Kane County Cougers play.

  3. Doug

    Yes, the youngest of my 3 boys just graduated high school. All of them played sports. All of them played football, the two oldest played college ball. my youngest is going to The University of Mount Union, to study Engineering and Wrestle. I never pushed any of them to play, I was at all but a few of there games. If you do your part as a parent to monitor their health the risk is minimal for any lasting injury. If you are the type to push your kids to excell at all cost, then that risk increases drasticly. So my advice is to let your kids decide if or what they play, and you sit back and enjoy their performance and monitor then health. And don’t be afraid to step in if you have a consern about their health.

  4. Kelly Hagberg

    Let them do what they want but gently steer them to golf.
    A sport you will play your whole life with few debilitating injuries. Spoken from one with no knees thanks to High School football.

  5. John "Jack" Frost

    If they want to play organized sports, support them. In any case exercise organized and un should be encouraged. But separate contact sports from those that are considered not threatening. All sports should be examined for safety practices, because any test of one capability can produce injuries. Contact sports should have the necessary protective equipment and clothing to ensure the safety of the individual. I have been engaged in the design of helmet suspensions for military helmets. This is unique in that it involves small mass and high speed, where the sports impacts involve high mass (weight) and slow velocity. The sports solutions have been less than adequate for such sports as football, and there has been too much hobby shopping designs. Our current concentration on head injuries has generated scientific interest in solution for this problem. I am confident there will be significant improvement in protective equipment which will make the sport safe and exciting.

  6. Steve Adams

    I would not let my boys play football. My 17 year old nephew has been playing since he started high school in a group of boys that have forged solid friendships through playing a team sport. They get to carry on as a group that has been forced to quit due to multiple concussions. All of them have been told by their doctors that the next hit could be the last. A shame to be told that as a 17 year old. As crazy as it seems, motor sports appears to be safer than football

  7. Kevin Hartford

    Well, my two sons did play Division 1 Football at Wake Forest and my eldest son did have a concussion his senior season which kept him out of his final game against Duke. We were there and it was a shame he couldn’t play but he wouldn’t have traded his college experience for anything. Today the coaching has tremendously improved with respect to using your head when blocking and tackling. That being said it’s still a contact sport and there will always be risk of concussion.

  8. Mike

    No way – you have to be a fool, if you get your boys into football. Stay with running, golf, swimming. Basketball, soccer, and baseball are also not that safe, but getting your boy into football or wrestling – is just crazy. We are in 2014, we know more now then in 1970’s


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