A few plums worth picking!

October 30, 2007 3:04 AM
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Well, my bye week has come and gone, and I’m ready to go, refreshed and invigorated, and looking forward to a great second half of the football season.

Our very first game this week on Thursday is Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, with the host team opening as a 2½ point favorite. I watched VA Tech last week almost beat Boston College, and was impressed enough to bet them straight up on the money line this week. Their special team’s play should be enough to overcome a very mediocre GA Tech club.

On Saturday, Rutgers is a 3 point underdog at Connecticut, and they also may be a good money line bet. If the line goes higher, take all the points you can get, as they have a very solid team. The Number 1 team in the country, according to the BCS, is Ohio State, and their reputation will probably give a good Wisconsin team at least 16 points. I’ll have to be a taker here, and hope the Badgers get a few turnovers to fall within the spread.

Incidentally, I think LSU is still the best college team, due to their amazing defense. It’s almost unbelievable how far down Notre Dame has gone, but opening as only a 3½ favorite over Navy is one hell of an indication.

In the NFL this week all games will take a back seat to the Pats and Colts on Sunday. I can only speculate on the winner, but I can assure you the game will exceed any respectable total they put up. I just got a new shipment of watches, so I’ll again make my offer: If this game doesn’t go over "You can have my watch."

The Bills are a short favorite over the defenseless Bengals, and I’m going to lay it. If you bet early you’ll get Oakland minus 3 vs. the Texans, who at this time have a wounded quarterback. On Monday night I’m forced to take plus 7 on the Ravens, and hope their defense can slow down the Pittsburgh express.

As a very wise man once told me: "Believe nothing you ever hear, and only half of what you see." Keeping that thought in mind, I watched the USC-Notre Dame game Saturday on NBC, as the mighty Trojans shut out the home standing fighting Irish 38-0. The USC team looked fast, deep in players and totally dominant on the field for the entire 60 minutes. The Notre Dame team looked slow, sluggish and totally disorganized throughout the 60 minutes. The problem that arose was which half I shouldn’t believe.

Three weeks ago I wrote about the LSU coach, Les Miles, pertaining to a giant gamble he took to win a game. Last week he goes for a touchdown when behind only one point versus Auburn, instead of kicking a chip shot field goal, and gets the TD with exactly one second left on the clock. This guy has a future in this town; he’s taken two giant shots in three weeks with both games on the line and won them both.

Several months ago I wrote an article about the demise of Joe Torre, the long time manager of the New York Yankees. I love Joe, as does everybody else. He has class and has displayed it throughout his entire career both as a player and as a manager. He’s a great role model for all of baseball and for the public as well as the players and all the other people who are associated with the game. But Joe, you let me down at the end by yielding to astronomical corporate pressure by giving them an out when it counted the most.

If you remember my past article I suggested the Yankees would allow Joe to resign with dignity as a public relations gem for both Joe and management. They came up with a better scenario and as the beer ad goes, it is "brilliant."

But I’m not buying it and perhaps you won’t either. They offered him $5 million (which is double what any other major league manager gets) and incentives adding up to an additional $3 million and tell him to turn it down so he’ll accomplish the dignity aspect and the management will also look good.

"Brilliant." Joe probably realized the organization had treated him well financially throughout his tenure and figured he owed it to them and he went for what I believe was B.S. How about what you did for them, Joe? In 1996 they had probably 20% of what they have today in terms of corporate net worth. You had to contribute to that extremely significant rise somehow. Say it isn’t so, Joe.

In today’s society we have deals and cop-outs all over the place. Hopefully I’m way off base and none of the above is true. Please, Joe, say it isn’t so!

In all fairness there are two sides of any story. For 12 years Joe has been given the best players money could buy, and in baseball money certainly talks. Under Joe’s leadership the Yanks had four World Series victories. Does the corporation have the right to expect more than a .333 batting average from a $7 million dollar man? It’s obvious that they do, and we certainly must realize that it’s their ball and they can take it home any time they want.

I however as a fan could have done without the public relations B.S. The Steinbrenners could have made a clean break and brought the popular Torre to the front office in some capacity and all would have been cool. As it stands now, we Yankee haters can keep hating them and dream of next year’s team not even making the playoffs.

Oh yes, another reason to get up in the morning for me, how about you? I can’t wait for spring training in 2008.

Have a great week!