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From Where Claibs Sits


Congrats to Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong on winning his first Rawlings Gold Glove. A long time coming and much deserved. When it came to putting work in to be a better player today than he was yesterday, Wong assumed that role with great vigor and it has now paid off. Coming off his best offensive season to go along with the Gold Glove, don’t be surprised to see him and Paul DeJong in Florida in January working on stepping up their game more as they led the league in defense and turning double plays.

When it comes to the NCAA putting anything on paper, you better check the fine print. Were you raising an eyebrow to their press release about athlete compensation? Something sounds fishy mainly because it’s the NCAA. We have not heard the last of this I can assure you. Only the International Olympic Committee and FIFA are shadier when it comes looking out for the best interest of its athletes.

Another NFL player put his name in the “stupidity file” thanks to social media. Cleveland Browns defensive back Jermaine Whitehead is now unemployed thanks to a less than professional and unflattering tweet he sent to a fan in a twitter rage because of his play. Let’s face it, we have all been there as you want to respond to someone who takes cheap shots, but seldom do you get that pound of flesh. Whitehead is out of job now for a spell of not thinking. Every league, team and PR department warn athletes ad nauseum about such acts but every now and then as the great Popeye the Sailor once said… “that’s all I can stand; I can’t stand no more.” Whitehead didn’t have a can of spinach to resort to. He just got canned.

So, if your college football team is not in the bowl playoff picture, is your season now a disappointment?

Mizzou and Illinois Football programs have a lot in common these days. Both have some bad losses and are fighting to salvage their seasons. Why are these two schools not playing each other? They can afford to take a blood donor team off the non-conference schedule where fans would have an interest and may even show up. The current set up excites no one.

Other than the pending lawsuit against Stan Kroenke in St. Louis, how much do you really care about the NFL? I know the fantasy players pay attention but the rooting for a specific team is going by the wayside. Let’s face it, the NFL and its talking heads will try and convince you that the game is exciting and has never been in better shape, and they will use the TV ratings to justify its case. They never tell you how attendance has continued to drop, but more importantly, the product on the field is dreadful on most Sundays. We just sit there and watch it because we have been trained to. There are few options with leaf raking not at the top of anyone’s list of alternatives that are fun. I’m looking for suggestions.

I know college basketball season is set to start this week but is this really college basketball? Have you looked at some of the non-conference schedules? I don’t have to pick out any team because they all do it. It’s no fun except for the guys who sit at the end of the bench who have a shot to play when their team is up by 50 with 40 seconds left to play. Non conference scheduling has become comical as some schools are scheduling teams that A: I didn’t know were a school and B: had a team. Yep, it's not what I would call the starting point on the Road to The Final Four but it’s about the kids, right?

By the way, who will be deemed the best player in college basketball in November only never be heard from in March? When do coaches start talking about their opponents being so good that it’s amazing that they are not ranked in the top five in the country? Coach speak is way over the top these days, and it's only getting worse as they now know what buttons to push with the media.

Finally, congrats to my good friend and broadcast partner Mike Shannon as it was announced Friday that he is a finalist for the Broadcasters wing of Baseball’s National Hall of Fame. You would think after 48 years behind the mic that someone would have thought this was a good idea. It was 10 years ago when he was a finalist only to be passed over. Not to compare Mike with the others who have gone in before him because it would not be fair to anyone as there is only one Mike Shannon. Let’s hope this is the year. We will know if the voters got it right on December 11.