Goodbye Gary, Plus Other Stuff

UPDATE: AD Jim Sterk will be on with KJR’s Ian Furness this afternoon between 1 – 3 PM. Just to go KJR’s website and click listen live, and you should be able to catch it. Not sure of the exact time (sometime later in the 1 PM hour?).

In a story we all pretty much saw coming since it was first reported last fall, the quest for another year for Gary Rogers is all over. As is the norm, the NCAA rarely grants a sixth year unless said player misses substantial time for two seasons due to injury. Since Rogers redshirted for non-injury reasons in ’04, the appeal was a long-shot from the beginning.

According to the article, Rogers hopes to play professionally. Whether that’s the NFL, the European league, the Arena league or any other league that springs up out of the blue, we wish all the luck in the world to Gary. He will always be the epitome of “what could have been”.

We’ll always have Auburn ’06.

Moving on, there’s more about the EWU – Paul Wulff era. Basically everyone is saying now that it was the “culture” of EWU that was the issue, and it was a problem for many, many years. After reading some of the details, and catching some of the comments from the people involved, it’s hard to argue against the reasoning. Our own Kaddy pointed out in comments yesterday that John Blanchette had some decent insight to the whole thing. I guess the bottom line to all of this is that it’s looking more and more like there were things happening for a long time that weren’t really monitored as well as they should have been. Things built up and built up, and finally, they added up to the penalties you see today. But what do YOU think? Now that a few days have passed and there are some solid details out there, are you satisfied?

From where I sit, this is all water under the bridge. Life will roll forward for all involved, and in the end, everyone will come out ahead. EWU will be amazingly clean AND compliant from now on. And Wulff’s wrist-slap will be enough of a reminder to keep doing what he’s doing. That’s pretty much it.

So…do you like this picture?

It’s looking like it could be reality by early next week. And like Edgar and Buhner, personally I’m THRILLED beyond belief. I know Griffey is kind of downplaying the whole thing when reached for comment yesterday, but there’s a hell of a lot of smoke to this fire. One report yesterday from a guy who writes for the P-I said the deal is done, and they are simply dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on this thing. So we’ll see.

Now, the sabermetric types are just hating on the whole idea, absolutely killing Griffey as a non-factor and a horrific defensive player. There are defensive ratings that back up their claims. But baseball isn’t just about stats and ratings. If it was, then the Yankees would win the World Series every year, and the D-Rays would be in the basement every year. Well, I’m coming down on the pure sentimental side of this one. Just to see #24 in an M’s jersey, one more time, to me is worth the price of admission. I know he’s 39 now, and a mere shadow of the Player of the 90’s. This isn’t the Junior we used to know and love. But who knows. Reportedly he’s in great shape, and his injured knee that helped limit him to 18 HR’s last year is cleaned up and ready to go.

Maybe the knee is healthy and he can give the punch-n-judy lineup some pop from the left side. In fact, the projected M’s outfield of Ichiro, Franklin Gutierrez and Endy Chavez combined for less HR’s than Junior hit all of last year. As long as he gets most of his AB’s against right handed pitching as the DH, what harm could this do? And at last check, he is 50 HR’s behind Willie Mays. This is WAY over the top, but…..if he can hit 25 a year for the next two years, well, wouldn’t it be cool to see him pass Mays in an M’s uni?

All I know is after the A-Fraud news from last week, and going along with everyone else in believing that Junior was clean all along, it might be nice to have something to embrace again in baseball? It would be cool to go out to Safeco this summer and cheer for something other than Ichiro grounders to sneak through the infield?? We can always HOPE, right??

Nice W for the hoops team last night. I’ll let BH handle the basketball Jones stuff, but they are still not dead yet. A win over the Beavs, and suddenly you are 6-7 with five to go. Get to eight wins and the NIT is a lock. But what if they go 3-2 over their last five, and suddenly they are sitting at 9-9? What if they make a little noise in the PAC-10 tourney, winning a couple of games? Anything can happen.

That’s it for today. Enjoy your Friday, and GO COUGS!