Some plays, incidents, players, reactions are Turned-Upside Down from the actual intentions of the moment.  There have been several recently.

…The deciding “holding” call in the Super Bowl was Turned-Upside Down from my perspective. The possible dramatic ending became a ho-hum kind of deal. Contact in the NFL on receivers going for the ball isn’t what it was 25 years ago. Mild contact is almost always overlooked. If it wasn’t, we’d have tons of penalties which destroy the rhythm & excitement of the game. With that call, the officials decided the Super Bowl. KC ran out the clock until there was only a few ticks left. Without that call, KC would probably, should have, made the FG. But, it would have given the Eagles a chance to answer. For you who prefer the “pure” interpretation of any contact, the pro games would become a game of penalties.  At the HS level, yes, that’s pass interference. Not late in the Super Bowl.

…The Quiz for today (answer at the bottom)…this player played 21 years in the MLB; all of you watched him play at some point; led the league with 13 triples one year; finished with 1501 hits in his career;  played in the post season 6 different years; was 2nd in MVP voting in 1967; who am I? (All of you know of me…all of you watched me play)

,,,,In the professional sports world, it’s sometimes TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN.   Usually,  a team wants a player to play well to help them win. Occasionally, though, teams want a player to play well so that they can trade him! (seems really UPSIDE-DOWN). That was the exact case for Ryan O’Reilly. His 2 goal game seemed to open the doors to a trade…and it did. O’Reilly, team captain and a vital player in the Cup Championship year, was moved this week in a trade. It wasn’t a surprise but trading the captain away 4 years after hoisting up the Cup indicates that the Blues are turning their roster UPSIDE-DOWN to start over with Thomas & Kyrou as their new “stars”.

…another view of the trade—the Blues stats leaders in +/- category is really Turned-Upside Down. The Team Leader is Calle Rosen @ +18, Pavel Buchnevich is next @ +3 & Robert Thomas is a +1. In only 18 games, Nikita Alexandrov is +5. On the other end of things — Torey Krug @ -26, Brayden Schenn & Ryan O’Reilly are each -25 while Jordan Kyrou is -22! Former Blue, Vince Dunn is +23 for Seattle He went to Seattle in the expansion draft. Those numbers probably made it easier to make the trade.

….Matt Carpenter has really seen his career TURN-UPSIDE-DOWN.. he went from being a steady regular for the Cards for 3 years as a singles-type hitter. In 2013, he led the league in runs, hits, doubles. In 2014, he led the league in walks. In 2015, his 44 doubles led the league. Then in 2018, he drove out 36 home runs. His swing seemed to change. His long, upper swing arc in 2018 led to 158 strikeouts. In 2019 it was still 129 K’s. The Cards moved him around the lineup…then out of the lineup… then DH’d. Nothing seemed to work. He was traded to the Yankees in 2022. In the stadium that was built for the Babe, (short RF distance with a wall about 3 feet high) Carp prospered. He belted out 15 home runs in 154 AB’s with an unbelievable OPS of 1.138. Now, he’s signed with San Diego. Which way will his career go now?  Keep tabs on him.

….In the college basketball world, it’s really Turned-Upside Down. In the ACC, the perennial top contenders- N. Carolina & Duke are missing!  In the ACC- Duke is tied for 6th place while N. Carolina is 9th in the conference!!  Pittsburgh sits atop the conference @ 12-3. They are followed by Virginia & Miami, Florida!

…Good teams in the NFL usually stay “Good” as long as their QB stays healthy. Philadelphia had a terrific team this year…losing in last drive in Super Bowl..but things were TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN FOR THEM quickly. Both the Offensive Coordinator (Shane Steichen) AND the Defensive Coordinator (Jonathan Gannon) resigned to become Head Coaches. Steichen will be the HC @ Indianapolis & Gannon will become the Head Coach @ the Arizona Cardinals. Philly will keep most of their talent but under totally new leadership. Referred to by many observers as the best coached NFL team this year, the Eagles will have some major adjustments next year.

….College Conferences are getting TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN.  Being the Best doesn’t necessarily reflect the skill levels of the teams. Rather, It centers around the television deals that each league can assemble. Once thought of as a powerhouse conference with their automatic trip to the Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 with its 107 year old history is now struggling. Losing UCLA & USC (from LA) to the Big 10  as the Big 10 now goes from coast to coast was a big jolt. The SEC & the Big 10 already had 50 of TV’s Top 7 of the weekly ratings. So they are on the UPSIDE. On the -DOWN side is the Pac 12. The Pac 12 has been impacted by the fact that their possible partners are struggling. Disney is laying off 7,000 employees. Amazon laid 6% of its workforce (18,000 workers)globally. Alphabet (parent company of Google) cut 12,000 jobs. To pile on with even more bad financial news, the Pac 12 just learned that they may owe a media partner $50m!! With the NIL money now absolutely essential to buy…oops… recruit new players, a strong media contract is absolutely required.

…It seems the Cards part with their top prospects as often as parents trade their kids… so most trading discussions end quickly. But… the Marlins recently traded  their 26 year old left-handed starter who was a strong contributor last year. Pablo Lopez started 32 games in ’22, held a 10-10 record with a 3.75 ERA  with 174 strikeouts in 180 innings for Miami! He was traded to Minnesota for AL batting champ, Luis Arraez. I feel like the Cards could have gone over that offer by sending a plethora of strong prospects to the Marlins who seek cheap, talented players to Florida for Lopez. It’d be high quantity over one player who’s had 1 very good year. Lopez would have fit in perfectly. With his youthful age, he had already demonstrated skill, was a left-hander, was still under team “control”, with a high strikeout rate. Trades don’t mean that you’re going to rob the other team…it means that you’re trading from your surplus to fill a need.

….Talk about TURNED UPSIDE-DOWN…despite spending in a huge way, the NY Yankees last trip to the World Series was 2009! WOW! They did win the series that year. But….they generally lead the MLB in spending for their roster year after year. Yet…..it’s already 14 years between appearances in the Series for the Yankees.

…The answer to the Quiz is Tim McCarver who just passed away this past week.

….Well, this Buzz has probably TURNED your interests UPSIDE-DOWN in some way. I’d (and so would others) like to read YOUR ideas. Post them directly on my FB Page (Bob Ryan) under this buzz. Or, send to me & I’ll post. I must say that vast majority of your responses are really terrific! Thx for the read and have a Super Week!  Bob