Sports Buffet for 06/15/10

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SptsBuf

NFL

The lower round rookies are beginning to sign. The deals are too scattered to give you a good analysis but look for the top picks to have some extended holdouts. The league ownership is in a penny pinching mood. The best indication of that is the fact that none of the usual sources have the financial data on the rookie deals. Given the concern over what the next CBA might look like and the economy still being in the tank, owners won’t quickly let the agents talk them into big increases over last year.

The RFAs are also signing. Today, the teams have the option of lowering any unsigned RFA to 110 percent of the salary the player made last year. In most cases the teams will do this for those players that they consider reserves or not critical to their long term plans.

NBA

The Celtics lead in the finals now 3-2. It is hard to get a handle on this series because each team looks unbeatable in one game but then lays an egg in the next one. While some of the differences in the games is due to injuries and foul trouble. But that can not explain it all.

I wonder if Boston has one more effort like Game 2 in them. If they lose tonight, they will not win the series.

MLB

The Yankees have clawed their way back into a tie for the lead in the AL East. They were helped by the Rays going 5-5 over the last 10 games. Boston has started to play a little better and is only 4 games behind.

Texas is hanging in the lead in the AL Weak. The Angels are just one game behind. Neither of them are playing well enough to worry any of the AL East teams come playoff time.

Atlanta had a 4.5 game lead last week but went 5-5 in the last 10 to allow the Mets to sneak back to just a game and a half back. The Phillies are still not playing well and have to face the Yankees this week in inter-league games.

Cincy and St. Louis are still in a tight race for 1st in the NL Central. The Padres, Dodgers and Giants are grouped together like peas in a pod in the NL West.

College football

For a while the Big 12-2 was on life support. But the keystone team–Texas–decided to stay and that kept the league together despite losing Nebraska to the Big 10+2 and Colorado to the Pac10+1. They key was MONEY!! Imagine that! The Big 12-2 promised Texas that they could have their own network deal and that saved the conference. There is a good chance that both the Big 12-2 and the Pac10+1 will add teams in the near future. Look for TCU and 1 other team (possibly Houston or Tulsa) to get an invitation to the Big 12 and Utah to get a ticket to play in the Pac 10.

The bottom line here is that college football has not changed all that much. I predicted that Texas would not join another conference months ago when the Big 10 was romancing it.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Lord, please take good care of our friend Harry Kalas

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Fryingpan Sports

Lord, please take good care of our friend Harry Kalas

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By Bill Smith

Harold Norbert “Harry” Kalas was the Voice. His was a voice that sports announcers would have sold their soul to have. As famous as he was for both his baseball work and his voice overs on NFL films, he was gracious to everyone he met.

I had the distinct honor of meeting him at O’Hare in the early 80’s. Despite waiting to pick up his bags and having things to do, he stopped and talked to an ordinary fan about sports. When I told him how much I enjoyed his work, he seemed almost embarrassed and made a joke about developing his technique and his one of a kind home run call. It surprised me since I was sure he had received thousands of complements from those far more expert than me. We talked about the difference between doing TV and radio. Having done some radio color myself, I told him how easy he made play by play seem. His chuckle warmed up the room.

That was the only time I ever had a chance to meet him but even that brief contact sticks in my memory like it was yesterday. His easy manor and warm smile made him a joy to talk with. He died yesterday where and how he would have wanted—in a ball park press box getting ready to do a Phillies game. When I first heard he had passed, I couldn’t help but be thankful that he was there to make the call as the Phillies won last year’s World Series. I can imagine how much that meant to him. I just hope he knew how much he meant to all sports fans.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002. He made every game he worked more enjoyable. If there is baseball in Heaven, Harry will be calling the game. If not, he will probably organize a league. I can almost hear him now calling a home run by Babe Ruth. “It is outta here.” We will miss his extraordinary ability to call a game.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is wesmith200[email protected]

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