Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Catholic 7, Mark Teixeira, & Darrell Revis: Sports Quick Hits for 3-6-13

As I write this blog post, the winds sound bad outside but I still have power and I am safe, thank God!  So, lets distract ourselves from the miserable weather of the northeast and talk some sports.

The "Catholic Seven" Get Even

While it is not official, the break up of the conference known as the Big East has crossed its biggest hurdle: money.  While the Big East was trying to keep up with the changing college sports landscape by adding more high profile football schools it was neglecting the historic roots of its basketball members.  With schools such as Syracuse, Rutgers, Norte Dame, and Pittsburgh leaving for "greener pastures" the Big East's "answer" to this was to replace these staples of the Big East with schools such as Temple, Navy, Memphis and Houston.  While all of these schools coming into the Big East have solid athletic programs, this really hurt the conference in their negotiations for a new TV contract.  Getting left out in the cold were the schools known as "The Catholic Seven".  Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul are well known for their basketball tradition and basketball is the major financial athletic programs at those schools, not football.  So these seven universities have set the ground work to leave and create their own athletic conference.  But here's the kicker: its going to be called the "Big East" and they get to play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.  Also, these seven schools get to keep all money generated by their athletic programs for receiving bids to the NCAA tournament.

To all of this I say, good for them!  While college football is a major money maker for numerous universities, to neglect other schools in a conference for the sake of football and tv money is poor management by the Big East.  So now the "Catholic 7" get to keep the rights to the name of the Big East and keep the "basketball mecca" in New York City as their conference tournament home as a consolation prize.  Of course, the "left over" schools are going to make out well too.  Cincinnati, South Florida and Connecticut will receive a large portion of the exit fees being paid by the colleges leaving the Big East. 

So keep all of this in mind the next time you hear a politician or university president talk about how "this is about the kids" because we all know, its really about the money!

Mark Teixeira has a wrist injury, again

As a former high school athlete who suffered a serious wrist injury, I can understand what Mark Teixeira is going through.  He had to pull out of the World Baseball Classic after he injured his wrist during a batting practice session.  While reports claim he will miss 8 to 10 weeks, even when he is healthy again he has to get his swing back. 

Teixeira's wrist injury will probably haunt him for the rest of his career.  I played baseball in high school and some in college.  With a past wrist injury it will always affect your swing.  The speed of a baseball swing is in the wrist, all great hitters preach this in books and baseball camps.  For a really good hitter like Mark this will be a problem cause if his wrist does not heal or he does not rehab properly it will hamper his ability to hit for average.  I specifically focus on his average cause for his career Teixeira was a .302 career hitter before the last two seasons.  In 2011 and 2012 he had a batting average of .248 and .251.  This is a major drop off.  His power wont drop as much because the base of a hitters power is in the torque produced by his hips and the strength in his shoulders to generate the inertia.  The more torque and inertia is generated through a hitter's bat when he makes contact will determine how hard the ball is hit and how far it could potentially travel.

I know from personal experience that a wrist injury can forever affect one as a hitter.  While as a kid in little league I was a good hitter.  But after my wrist injury at 14 years old my swing was never the same.  When I made good contact I was able to generate some good hits and some power.  But my wrist was never the same in maintaining balance for an even swing through the zone.  I hope for Mark Teixeira's sake he is able to recover from this injury because he still has the potential for atleast a few really good seasons.  Only time will tell how much his wrist problems will hold him back.

Makes the Yankees wonder about their 100 plus million dollar investment in a few offseasons ago.

Darrelle Revis and his football future

Recovering from a major injury is always a fight uphill for any athlete.  But Darrelle Revis has more to worry about than just his rehab: where will he play next season?  The New York Jets have said all the right things in public, but behind the scenes they are shopping their Pro Bowl star.  Revis, who is considered one of the top Cornerbacks in football, is available to the highest bidder.  The Buccaneers have the cap room and the need for a top notch cornerback.  Some think he may end up with the 49ers because San Francisco has a plethora of draft picks to make a major offer..  There is also speculation that the Falcons would want to aquire Revis since they released Dunta Robinson and they need another ball-hawk in their defense secondary opposite of Asante Samuel.  The possibility for a Revis-For-Dummervil deal is a popular rumor and would work without either the Jets or Broncos under the salary cap.

But a bigger question for Revis is how will he perform in a new enviroment.  He has been a Jet his whole career and has played for defensive minded head coaches such as Rex Ryan and Eric Mangini.  Where ever Revis ends up people should lower their expectations for him because aside from coming off a major injury, he will need time to adjust to his new teammates, new defensive scheme, and a new football enviroment.  While I have no doubt Revis has the drive, work ethic and talent to excel with any NFL team, he may need some time to adjust.  The 2013 season may not be the best for Darrelle Revis, but expect him to bounce back and have a great 2014 season for sure, just to prove to his peers and competition he still has what it takes to be the best cornerback in the NFL.

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