Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) Baseball games are too long. Again. I'm all for the continuing evolution of a sport as it institutionally tries to reach new fans, and more of them, and I think we make too many things in every sport out to be sacred. If we really cherished the fact that baseball games are supposed to lat nine innings, why do so many people leave the ballpark after seven? Games are better when there's more action, more content, more, you know, stuff. I get it.
Major League Baseball is looking into whether the intentional walk should be eliminated - a move that would have almost no impact on the length of games - and whether the strike zone should be raised in an effort to get more balls put in play, which would create more action.
I'll admit that I'm not the guy MLB should be trying to reach. I like the way baseball is played now, and I'm in no hurry to leave the ballpar when I go. Games could last five hours as far as I'm concerned. The beauty of the sport is that it can be background noise. Give me a ballgame, a cold one, good friends, and fun conversation and take as long to play the damn game as you please.
But here's my thing.....Major League Baseball is coming off of a remarkable World Series, and has more young players doing incredible things than ever, and yet the two times that the sport has been pushed to the front and center this winter is when we've debated the Hall of Fame credentials of players who haven't played in at least five years, or when the sport is actively reminding us what's wrong with it. MLB should be cramming Mike Trout and Kris Bryant down our throats, and yet here it is reminding us once again the problems with the product.
Doesn't seem like sound strategy.
2) Hoops. Kentucky won last night, broke out a nifty press early against a crappy LSU team, played well for a stretch, then farted around for the final ten minutes or so, failing to dissuade those who want to write the Wildcats' obituary in February. Against arguably the worst team in the SEC, UK's defensive deficiencies continued to show, and for as much as John Calipari talked about a re-boot, the Wildcats still look uninterested in sustained effort and each other.
All of that said, I agree with Gary Parrish of CBS Sports, who uses history in cautioning against writing off Kentucky.
The Dayton Flyers looked equally uninterested in disposing of a short-handed St. Joseph's team.
The Xavier Musketeers have no truly awful losses - Colorado is their worst, and the Buffaloes RPI is currently right at 100. An L against a really, really bad DePaul team would qualify as a resume black mark.
The Bearcats play a halfway-okay Central Florida team that has a 7-6 guy named Tacko.
If UC wins tonight, and then at SMU on Sunday, the big topic for worried Bearcats fans will turn into whether it'd be good for the Bearcats to lose before March to stave of complacency, and remind the guys of their lack of invincibility.
The answer is, and will be, no. Let's give Mick the benefit of the doubt here...he's keeping his foot on the gas with this team, and I think few coaches are as good as Mick at driving home points during the good times. The idea is to improve and win at the same time. If you need to lose for a lesson to be learned, you're the dumb one.
3) Christie Brinkley. I'm allowed to like this, right?
I'm kinda just filling the space this morning.
Radio Show: I'll kinda just fill the space today on ESPN1530.