Friday, February 13, 2009

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. 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!


Selahcoug said...

Agreed on the Wulff and Eastern stuff. Doesn't look good in anyones eyes for either party at the moment, but should pass before too long making both parties more attentive to the rules.

Would love to see Griffey back with the M's as well. Probably won't provide much more than generating fan interest, but right now not only the M's need that, probably every major league team with the whole roid issues going on. I wish they would bring in a new commisioner who would clean it up a bit with not only more drug testing, but apply a salary cap, that would make baseball much more interesting. Having basically 3or 4 teams who buy all the players they want and everyone knows they are the only ones who are going to pay the ever increasing salaries is not fun for anyone other than ESPN who continues to hype the Yankee/Redsock series and little more.

Good to get a win in Bball and good to hear that many of the deep bench guys got some time. Hopefully it does start a run.

Anonymous said...

Screw Griffey. He bailed on Seattle when he demanded a trade. Never take back an ex girlfriend, she'll know she can walk all over you and take all your money.

Anonymous said...

EWU had for years didn't have the compliance issues in check. But, I bet every other Big Sky school was in the same boat. You did what you could to field the best team. Seriously, two days of meals at Tawanka (the players cafeteria)? Give me a break. I played there and know what was going on. It wasn't done to get an advantage, there just wasn't the resources to know exactly who was eligible and when. All the asst coaches have to teach PE classes, not like Pac 10 schools. They don't have time to be up on eligibility like compliance officers do. EWU didn't even HAVE a compliance officer.

Wulff won't make the same mistake at WSU. He'll have the compliance officer check every single move he makes. He knows he's got his dream job and is going to make sure he doesn't "husky it."

Go Eagles, Go Cougs.

ps. still bitter that our best season ever at EWU was '97 which just happened to be an "OK" year for the Cougs. Guess who got all the press???

Longball said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt Griffey "bail" on Seattle to play for a team he grew up with, closer to his family and for no raise in salary? In the era of PayRod and other players making moves ONLY for money I think its pretty rediculous to begrudge Griffey. Of course if Mr. anonymous was actually a Mariner fan he would also know that Griffey (with a little help from Luis Sojo) is the only reason we even have a baseball team.

Bring the Kid home.

Anonymous said...

How about EWU basketball... 'ol Burnsy was playing fast and quick with the rules too moving around assistant coaches pay to cover scholie's for the coaches kid. Check that out because it happened!

Those assistants for EWU football have to take on camp store, study halls and other little tasks to make a few bucks to pay the rent. It happens! You are going to look out for your coaches right? No problem with Wulff and he will always do the right thing at WSU.

Sedihawk said...

Would you want to re-attach to the ex and have a relationship again? No. Would you want to have a one-nighter? Probably. And that's all this is with Junior. This isn't an 8-year marriage, it's a one (or maybe two?) year quickie, that's it.

I admit it - I HATED Junior when he left. But I got over it. He wanted to be closer to his family, and after 10 years in the big leagues, he earned the right to do what he did. Did it end ugly with the forced trade? Of course. But do these things ever end pretty? No. Whether he forced the trade or would have played out the string in 2000, it really didn't matter. He was leaving.

But Art Thiel's book shed a lot of light on the subject. Even as soon as three years after he was traded, he was telling Jay Buhner that he "F-cked up" and would like to come back. Then you had the 2007 love-in, and that clinched it. Here's hoping it works out. Just give us 400 AB's as a lefty DH next year, and if he stays healthy, who the hell knows what is going to happen. I sure want to find out though.

ptowncoug said...

Why show us the Auburn game, as it is evidence of one of the dumbest coaching moves ever in all of sports. I don't think I will ever see anything like that ever again.
Bench the hot hand, bench the hot hand?!! Only us Cougs could go against the most simplest coaching principle in all of sports, you sit the hot hand.
I would love to write a book about the Doba era and 90% of it would be devoted to that one decision! I wish I could let it go, but I just can't particularly when you show clips of it.

Stefen said...

rewatching the drive at Auburn just makes one wonder what could have been. good luck to Rogers in all future endeavors.

who did more damage: Doba to Cougar football, or Bavasi to the M's?

Anonymous said...

I always thought Griffey wanted out of Seattle because he didn't want to share the spotlight with A Fraud. As I've watched A Fraud's career I can sure understand and forgive him if that played into his decision.

I'm all for bringing Jr. back. Sitting here, I can only come up with 5 or 6 current M's off the top of my head. I can still remember the batting order in 95.

Chris '04 said...

I would definitely head to Seattle this summer to catch a game if Griffey came back. Man he had the sweetest stroke in baseball history when he was hot in the 90's. I remember the home run battles between him and Frank Thomas. I was a huge Thomas fan but even I couldn't deny Griffey was one of the greats. I didn't pay much attention to the reasons behind his departure but I wouldn't hold it against him if he decided to return.

Sedihawk said...

I know this isn't a baseball blog but it's looking like Junior might be headed to Atlanta instead.

I would have loved to have seen him end his career here. But if Atlanta is his preference, then what can you do? I guess they'll look for another bat on the open market (Garret Anderson? Jim Edmonds?).

Chris '04 said...

Jimmy Edmonds is one of the all-time greatest hustle players. However, I don't know how much he has in the tank after throwing his body around like a rag doll for 15 years. Dude had a Howitzer for an arm too.