You know how it works. I go with a name, a place, a thing and expound on the subject with a few words. Not many, just a few. You can, if you like, play along at home.
Vince Young – So, the quarterback who cashed in on $26 million after being the third player taken in the NFL draft six years ago had squandered all, or most of, his money? There’s a part of me that feels bad for Young, who apparently was swindled by people he trusted. But there’s another part of me that says you have to be crazy to lose a fortune like that in such a short amount of time, swindled or not. My promise to you, my faithful readers, is that if I ever get my hands on $26 million, I will not take my eyes off of it.
John L. Smith – The interim Arkansas coach – emphasis on the word interim – is also reportedly having financial difficulties. And, judging from his news conference in Fayetteville the other day, sanity difficulties. Did you catch that media session, during which Smith pleaded with the media members in the room to stay positive and “smile? SMILE!!!” Wow. I smiled, all right. Smith, reportedly nearly $26 million in debt, is in an impossible situation not only financially, but professionally, having taken over the Razorbacks in the wake of Bobby Petrino’s untimely firing. But he doesn’t seem to be making anything better after a devastating 0-2 start.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Trout for AL MVP – Even though Cabrera has a legitimate chance at becoming baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967, this is a legitimately close race. But what swings it for me toward Cabrera is his offensive performance down the stretch. Both teams are chasing the post season and Cabrera has put the Tigers on his back for the past month. I think it is meaningful to look at how the candidates in a close MVP race perform in the most important games. And the Angels and Tigers are playing important game. In the past 28 days, Cabrera has batted .375 with 10 homers and 25 RBI in 23 games. During the same span, Trout has batted .247 with three homers and five RBI. True, their styles of play are vastly different. Trout is a leadoff hitter; Cabrera resides in the middle of Detroit’s batting order. Still, Trout has been a run producer for the Angels, just not so much lately. In the past seven games, for instance, Trout is batting only .211 without a homer or RBI. Cabrera, meanwhile, has five homers and 12 RBI in the past week with a .458 batting average and a crazy OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.708. Trout is a better defender and base runner, hands down. But Cabrera’s offensive production when the Tigers need it most can’t be ignored.
St. Louis Rams – As you know (or perhaps you don’t), I’m a Rams fan. At least I’m a Rams fan when they’re playing OK, which isn’t that often. But this year could be different. I’m reading where Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is complaining about some cheap shots he believes the Rams put on him last weekend in a tight St. Louis win. And to this I say: Way to go Rams. I am not endorsing cheap shots. But I’m also not endorsing Griffin’s viewpoint, especially since I watched the game from start to finish. I didn’t notice any cheap shots. But I did pick up on the Rams’ tough, physical style of play and that’s something I applaud. I’ve watched a soft Rams team get chewed up and spit out in recent seasons without putting up much of a fight. I’ll take this more hard-nosed group under first-year coach Jeff Fisher, who has a reputation of building up-to-the-line-without-crossing-over defensive teams. Griffin’s complaints are a good sign for the Rams, I believe.
Roy Williams – I was shocked to hear that Williams had a tumor removed on one of his kidneys this week. But he was released from the hospital today. It’s hard for me to fathom that Williams is beginning his 10th season as basketball coach at North Carolina. It’s also hard to believe Williams is 62. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for a coach I have always liked.
Cam Newton – The Carolina quarterback is the main attraction for me tonight, when the Panthers hook up with the New York Giants. Newton was so good during his rookie season in 2011 and he’s off to a nice start this season, too. He’s the kind of quarterback you love to see pass and you love to see run. I think Carolina beats the Giants tonight and that’s because of how much of a believer I am in Newton.
Allen Craig – Yes, he’s a St. Louis Cardinal. And my team has struggled for consistency this season. But not Craig, who has been a force and is making quite a bit less than the man he’s replacing at first base, Albert Pujols. In fact, had Craig not missed a bunch of games because of injuries early in the season, his numbers would be better than Pujols. Even with those missed games, they’re comparable. How about a little love for Allen Craig?
Thanks for reading. Check my Friday musings tomorrow if you have time. Have a great weekend. I’m really looking forward to being in Norman, Okla., on Saturday night for the Kansas State-OU game.