Forget pitch clocks. Forget umpire admonishments. The key to picking up the pace in baseball is simple: Force every player in both leagues to watch one game pitched by Boston Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley.
I'm quite certain I'd be the worst general manager in the history of the NFL. Oh, my teams would have more chemistry than the campuses of Stanford, Harvard and MIT combined, but we would never win any games.
Empty stadiums can be exciting. I love walking into a place I haven't been -- The Horseshoe at Ohio State last September, for example -- before the fans arrive and imagining what the atmosphere will be like in a few hours.
As much as I had been looking forward to Monday night's Islanders-Capitals game, I found myself instead mesmerized by coverage of the violence in Baltimore.
To open this week, in honor of the big boxin' match coming up, we'll begin with a Rocky IV quote that I shall tenuously tie to the day's topic:
The most interesting thing about UVa listing Matt Johns as its No. 1 quarterback on Thursday heading into fall practice was the incongruity of the assessments from the coaches.
Several folks on Twitter corrected me yesterday when I argued that one of the greatest things about Bill Roth is, over 27 years as the voice of Virginia Tech, he never had any catch phrases other than his opening, which I don't count.
Bill Roths are rare. Trust me on this. Virginia Tech fans know they've had it good for the past 27 years, but if they need a reminder, all they need to do is tune into a radio broadcast of a baseball game today. Pick one at random, and there's a good chance you'll step away, thinking: "Good lord, I hope Tech doesn't get one of these Moes to replace Bill Roth."
This has nothing to do with sports, other than the fact that sports feature commercials targeting young males, and those commercials frequently include my favorite fake word in the English language: "melty."
Who doesn't love a good sports rant? And based on statistics alone -- 77 variations of the F-bomb, 11 "uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine)," as the Cincinnati Enquirer put it -- the rant unleashed by Reds skipper Bryan Price on Monday should have Hall of Fame potential.
Baltimore and Boston are playing baseball as I type this. It's not even lunchtime yet. They started the game at 11:05 a.m. because of Patriots Day festivities in New England. I love everything about this.
The text alert hit my phone as I was walking out of the Salem Red Sox press box late Thursday night: Report: Cubs to call up Kris Bryant Friday. I dropped my bag immediately, pulled out my laptop computer, logged on to my fantasy site, and...
When the Salem Red Sox and city officials signed their new 10-year lease Thursday morning, general manager Ryan Shelton also announced a nice offer for residents of Salem: free tickets to Sunday's game.
Andy had an interesting story today on Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges, which describes the multiple ways the coaches are employing him in spring practice. Two paragraphs in particular near the end caught my eye:
I saw several breaking stories yesterday referring to "Virginia sharpshooter Justin Anderson" entering the NBA draft. Statistically, I suppose this is accurate. Anderson shot quite sharply in 2014-15 -- 45.2 percent from 3-point range, including an ACC-best 48.2 percent before his pinkie injury.
The 2015 Masters was Ivan Drago vs. Apollo Creed: A new star scoring an emphatic knockout on a big stage, fans of close competition be damned. Jordan Spieth seemed to say, "If the rest of the field dies, it dies." Except he said it politely after hugging his parents and his high school sweetheart.
So I watched almost all of Wisconsin's 61-54 upset of Kentucky on the Wildcats' "Team Stream" -- the supplemental broadcast on TNT that focuses on one side. I might have been the only guy in America watching that channel while pulling for the underdog.
I retweeted this Friday, but it deserves to appear in as many places as I can put it. From the Twitter feed of Sports Illustrated's Brian Hamilton:
While much of the college basketball world was focusing on Shaka Smart's decision to leave VCU for Texas on Thursday, staying put had a big payoff for Cave Spring graduate Gregg Marshall.
Congratulations to VMI for upsetting No. 12 Virginia 7-6 in baseball on Wednesday. But good grief, what is going on with UVa's pitching staff?
Donna Alvis-Banks is one of the sweetest people I've ever known, so I had no reason to be suspicious when she handed me the post-it note when I walked into the New River Valley bureau of The Roanoke Times on April 1, 2001.
Atlanta should be ashamed. Not the team, mind you. The team's fans.
My picks on the NCAA tournament were all over the place, but one thing was certain: I wasn't going to take Kentucky.
My affinity for moral victories might be stronger than my hatred of instant replay. In both cases, I sense the majority might be against me. Coaches certainly are when it comes to moral victories.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett announced late Saturday that junior guard Justin Anderson has a fractured finger on his left hand and will undergo surgery on Sunday. Anderson is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury.
FOURTH QUARTER (NEWEST ON TOP)
IN-RACE (LATEST ON TOP)
FOURTH QUARTER (NEWEST ON TOP)
FOURTH QUARTER (NEWEST ON TOP)
This has not much to do with anything, but when it happened, I did file it away to share in the future, so here goes:
FINAL: EAST CAROLINA 28, VIRGINIA TECH 21
1. Ohio State week is here for the Hokies -- something we've all been anticipating. And one of my favorite features of our web site is back: Andy's five thoughts that follow every game. These are always a must-read for anyone interested in Tech football, myself included.
FINAL: Hokies beat the Tribe 34-9.
Three things to know for Tuesday:
Three things to know for Monday:
Spoke with New Orleans Saints and former Virginia Tech kicker Shayne Graham after their morning workout today in West Virginia. The 36-year-old Pulaski County High School grad is considered the favorite to win the job and embark on his 14th NFL season this fall. He's played for nine teams in his career, including seven since 2010.
Have a feature running on Matty Johnson scheduled for Tuesday, but as usual, there will be a lot of topics we discussed that won't make the final cut. This past week, he talked about his sometimes nomadic career, his role as a sparkplug, why he still goes by "Matty" and more:
Greetings from Lewisburg, W.Va., which I'm excited to report has a Taco Bell that sells the hard-to-find Chili Cheese Burrito. That's really as good a reason as any for the New Orleans Saints to take up residence for three weeks at The Greenbrier.
Coaches today after players yesterday. Frank Beamer goes off the tee in the late afternoon. Here are a few notes from Sunday that didn't make today's column.
This country has a growing trend that, for simplicity's sake, I shall call "Sports Moping." It's rooted in the belief that somehow your team is cursed, that it isn't getting its share of breaks and/or championships.
In Loving Memory of
Gladys Simmons, 88, of Roanoke, passed away Sunday, May 3, 2015. Arrangements by Serenity Funeral Home & Cremation Services.
Worley Laymon McCoy, 63, of Buena Vista, died Thursday, April 30, 2015. Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Monday, May 4, 2015, at Rockbridge Memorial Gardens. Arrangements by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory,Lexington, 540-463-2912.
Phyllis Hamner Steger, 96, of Charlottesville, passed away Sunday, May 3, 2015, at the Colonnades Senior Retirement Community in Charlottesville, where she had been a resident for over nine years. She was born on July 3, 1918, in Albemarle County, to the late Charles Edward and Iris Newcomb Hamner. She was married to Thomas Randolph Steger Sr. (Billy) for nearly 60 years before his passing in March 1996. Phyllis was also preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law, Russell and Barbara Hamner.