Outside the Base Paths

While the MLB-MLBPA continue to be stalled by dollar issues, it’s time to “move on” in the sports world and get outside the Base Paths which arent’ being used. There’s plenty of sports outside baseball….as the owners & players will learn this summer.
…completely outside the basepaths not for hours but days, of waiting to get tickets for Coack K’s last game @ Duke. Nonetheless, Duke fans raced to get tickets for the last home game of Coach K. The minimum ticket price was $3,690. The average price on StubHub is $5,392. Krzyzewski, now 75, lost his last home game in front of a wild crowd to N.Carolina 94-81. It was emotional, wild, almost frantic inside the arena. He was unhappy after the game saying that the play of his team was “unacceptable”. Coach K has 1,196 career wins, including 1,123 as Duke’s coach
….if you want to watch real man-man competition outside any base paths, check out the NCAA D-II Wrestling Championships on March 11-12 at the Chaifetz Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Now this isn’t WWF stuff…this is strength, endurance, explosive power, leverage in action packed mats. If you’ve been looking for something different with heated competition….this is your chance. Stay as long, or longer than you anticipated, since the matches just keep coming.
…Even faster than runners on the basepaths is the action on the transfer portal of the NCAA. Mizzou has been busy adding and losing players through the portal. That’s just the way its done these days. Like it or not….it’s how you get “ready to play” players. In most cases, Freshman players, directly out of high school, arent’ fully ready to play high level D-1 football. Players who arrived@ Columbia…. Dreyden Norwood (CB)-3star-Frosh from Tx A&M; Tyrone Hopper (OLB)-Red-SR from Florida; Nathaniel Peat (RB) from Stanford; Tyler Stephens-TE(Buffalo); Ian Mathews-D-Tackle (Auburn); Jayden Jernigan-3 star from OK-State. Players who departed—Mekhi Wingo to LSU; R-Jr LB-De Jatorian Hansford- 3-star landed @ S. Florida R-FR; QB Connor Bazelak to Indiana; R-Fr Chris Shearin-D-back, 3-star (Rivals); Messiah Swinson,TE; 3-stars; going to Az State; Ish Burdine-D-Back; R-Fr; TCU is his next team; Daniel Parker, Jr.– 4-star (Rivals) transferring to Oklahoma; Jamie Pettway, 3-star, R-Jr, next to Florida Atlantic; Ja’Mori Maclin (Kirkwood)-3 star-landing @ N.Texas; QB Shawn Robinson to K-State. One almost needs a scorecard to keep records of who’s “IN” & who’s “OUT”.
…Still running up & down the court..not on the basepaths… Despite the lack of an NBA team for decades, St Louis still sends players to the NBA on a regular basis. Of course, most all of us recognize the names of Jason Tatum & Bradley Beal. Tatum is in his 5th year @ Boston. He entered the NBA as a 19 year old. He’s scored 26+ ppg over the last 2 years. Beal , who preceded him @ Chaminade, also started his NBA career @ 19 years of age but is in his 10th year of play. He has always been on the court for high # of minutes (leading the NBA in 18-19 with 36.4 m/game). For his career, he’s averaged 34.8 min/game.
…That St Louis NBA connection was established long ago. In NBA history, there have been 31 players from St. Louis area. Players like JoJo White, Bill Bradley, Anthony Bonner, David Lee, Ed Macauley, Larry Hughes, Laphonso Ellis as StL players who competed at a highest level in the NBA. Could the NBA return to the Lou & be successful? I have my doubts.
….. On the womens side in the WNBA a real familiar StL name, Napheesa Collier from Incarnate Word Academy, completed a highly successful career @ UConn (for many years the TOP womens program in the USA) and has made an easy transition to Pro basketball . She was a 2x-1st team All-American@ UConn. She was Rookie of the Year in 2019. Now in her 3rd season, she’s playing 34+ min/gm and scoring over 16 ppg.
…returning to MLB basepaths of decades ago…look @ owner/manager-Connie Mack. Mack managed AND owned the Philadelphia Athletics for 50 seasons of play, starting in 1901, before retiring at age 87 following the 1950 season. He didn’t pay ANY of his players too much! He was best characterized by the saying, “Mack spent the last two decades of his career achieving solid mediocrity in the standings and seemingly popularized the practice of the “fire sale.” Mack’s strength as a manager was finding the best players, teaching them well and letting them play. “He did not believe that baseball revolved around managerial strategy. However, he was “one of the first managers to work on repositioning his fielders” during the game, often directing the outfielders to move left or right, play shallow or deep, by waving his rolled-up scorecard from the bench. It was said that he desired 2nd place teams—ones that won enough to please the fans but not 1st place where the players would demand higher salaries. As with most of us, as he aged, he slipped in several ways. When he sold the team, it was almost immediately moved to Kansas City by the new owner.
…running up & down the court (not the basepaths) for decades now, things have changed for LeBron James. In a recent home game, the fans were booing him. Being the leader of a 27-34 team isn’t a big deal..even if you’re LeBron. Unaccustomed to hearing boos, James’ response was emotional & terse.. “What do you know about basketball other than the ball going in or not? Shut yo ass up,” James said. It has been a rough go lately for the Lakers as they are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Like many before him, stars often seem to be the last ones to realize that “their time is over”.
….hopefully, the MLB-MLBPA will wake up soon & reach a resolution. Or….they’ll find that fans have moved on (not on the base paths but in life)…some already have moved on!
As always, Thanks for the time & read! Please share one of your thoughts on Facebook (Bob Ryan). No one is wrong…it’s YOUR thoughts. If you’d like to catch up on earlier blogs, visit.. http://www.bobryansportsblog.com. Let’s hope that we DO SEE runners on the basepaths soon.

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