The Kansas City Royals finally crawled up to the .500 mark for the 2017 season this past week, only to fall back a notch or two. Surprising? Not really. Didja know that our Boys in Blue are playing at about the same winning percentage that they have throughout their major league history? Yes, all-time the Royals winning percentage is .482, so if you are a gambler, you’d best put your money on the Royals finishing below the .500 mark.
The American League Central is often thought of as a close, competitive division. True enough, but mostly because none of the teams are big winners. Cleveland’s long history shows a winning percentage of only .509. Detroit is .508 and the Chicago White Sox at .505. The Minnesota Twins join the Royals below the .500 mark at .480. So, close races in the AL Central ? Sure, but not great teams usually.
The best of the best? Those dastardly NY Yankees lead all major league teams with an all-time winning percentage of .569, followed by the Giants at .538 and the Dodgers at .525. So it looks like if the plan is to make all teams equal, to instill “spreading the winning around”, the major league big cigars have accomplished the feat of making everyone competitive but, at the same time, somewhat mediocre!
Didja know that Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu was picked at number 33 in last week’s NBA draft by the Orlando Magic? It had been awhile since the Cats had had someone picked. He was the first Wildcat picked in the NBA draft since 2008. Iwundu was nothing if not consistent. He started 87 games in a row to end his career. As seniors, Iwundu and Kansas’ Frank Mason were a rarity in this draft as this NBA Draft featured a record 16 freshmen being taken in the first round, with 11 of those coming in the lottery portion.
Rumors have it that not only are college basketball coaches wanting changes, so do the moguls of the NBA. Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, said recently that the one-and-done rule is not working for the NBA or college basketball. I would add AMEN to that!
The plan most likely to evolve would be a copy of what major league baseball, and the colleges ,have worked out which states that an athlete can sign directly out of high school or take the college option, but if they do, they must remain with the college class for two full seasons, being eligible to play professionally only by the third year out of high school. That would guarantee colleges that an athlete would be with them at least two years.
That all makes so much sense you have to wonder why they haven’t already done so. Do away with the one-and-done fiasco please!
Didja know that on the other end of this youth silliness, college coaches are just as to blame as the professionals? More and more you see college coaches offering scholarships to kids as young as grade school. Seriously! Though most are serious offers, I would guess that some are publicity stunts to garner and direct attention toward the school and its’ athletic program. Scholarship offers are non-binding until an athlete’s senior season anyway but leave it to the coaches to manipulate the system!
HAROLD AZINE might have said it best. “Youth. The time of great expectations for yourself and expectation of others for you—to be fulfilled at an unspecified time called ‘SOMEDAY’.”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.