Friday, May 06, 2011

Garyland No More

Well, it has been an eventful year in University of MD athletics. AD Debbie Yow bolts for NC State (seemingly tired of the power struggle between her and basketball coach Gary Williams), the new AD decides to get rid of Ralph Friedgen, who was only the first football coach at the school since Bobby Ross to make anyone outside of the state lines or alums give a flying crap about the program, and now Williams decides he is done and up and retires (unfortunately for the school he makes the decision 2 months after the usual hiring period, so a lot of potential coaches are now firmly entrenched in either their original school or shiny new digs).

I am not going to speculate on who could be taking over the program (besides, others have already covered it and done it well, so all I would really add is random regurgitation of the same facts). But it is worth noting that that when Williams first floated the idea of retiring (last year and then again right after the season), the university was so keen on keeping him around that they put together a contract extension. So in no way should this be read the same way as the Friedgen ouster, because Gary was welcome to stay as long as he pleased.

In 22 years, Gary Williams' teams went to 14 NCAA tournaments, 5 Sweet Sixteens, 2 Final Fours, and 1 National Championship. And he did it after taking over a team that was in shambles after the failed tenure of Bob Wade (who left the school in hot water w/the NCAA, leading to the team being banned from postseason play in 1991 and 1992 and NO TV coverage during the 1990-91 season). Add to that the facts that at the time of his retirement he was the 5th winningest active coach, he was the 3rd winningest coach in the ACC (behind only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski), and until the 2010-11 season the Terps were the 2nd winningest team in the ACC (behind Duke), and he did all of this without a single whiff of a hint of impropriety or scandal (compare that to Jim Calhoun, who just won his 3rd NCAA Championship, but was just hit with a 3 game coaching suspension for the beginning of the 2011-12 Big East season, recruiting and scholarship restrictions).

Add all of that up, and you get a man who more than earned the right to go out on his own terms and in his own way. And a man who probably cannot be replaced. I hope you have enjoyed watching the Terps play basketball for the last 2 decades, because no matter how well they do under their new coach, it will never be like it was in Garyland.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise: MLB Style

A blogger is a blogger is a blogger. The format lends itself to opinion, not to reporting. I try to remain as objective as possible on here, but I don't always succeed (hopefully I will be able to pull it off this time). Unfortunately, some sites have "columnists" and that can lead to confusion. At least until the columnist goes off the deep end and shows themselves as morons. This time it was Terrence Moore at, who has decided that record holders without "zing" don't get to be the ones that are recognized.

What "zing" might look like

I am not going to get into the argument about if Alex Rodriguez having the career grand slam record (he is one away, and odds are he'll beat it eventually) or Barry Bonds having the most career home runs can be legitimately questioned with the proof of their using PEDs (mainly because I am not sure how I feel about this one), but his argument that Cal Ripken Jr. plays second fiddle to Lou Gehrig when looking at the consecutive games played record because Gehrig had the "it factor" that Ripken lacked is just asinine. Yes, Gehrig was a freak of nature and one of the greatest players ever, but just because he wound up dying from a disease through no fault of his own

Or WAS it?

That doesn't mean that Ripken's accomplishment was any less notable. Especially since he played a position that required more physicality (SS over Gehrig's 1B), and he had a lot more wear and tear in regards to travel (Gehrig never flew across the country, and most of his games were during the day).

In case you don't feel like wading through the ramblings of Terrence Moore, here is what he had to say about Ripken vs. Gehrig:

You may recall that Gehrig also earned his nickname as "The Iron Horse" by playing in a record 2,130 games before succumbing to a bizarre muscular disease that eventually was named in his honor. His record for that playing streak lasted 56 years until Cal Ripken Jr., kept going and going before snapping it in 1995.

Nothing against Ripken Jr., but Gehrig remains the standard bearer for that record, too.

The fact that this man has a vote for who gets into the Hall of Fame is not comforting.

And on a personal note to Mr. Moore, if Joe DiMaggio, a teammate of Lou Gehrig, was cool with Ripken breaking Gehrig's record, maybe you should bite your tongue on this opining you are doing.

Looks to me like Joe's cool with it