Things In Sports We Will Never See Again: Bo, The Splinter, Lefty, Ali

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SUBURBIA, NJ – After reading my esteemed colleague Angry Ward’s piece on great gambling fixes in history and touching on the 1980 Olympic Hockey team it got my wheels turning, and I have decided to present to you Things In Sports We Will Never See Again:

A 300-Game Winner or .400 Hitter:

In this sad age of analytic nerds ruling the roost with their buzz-kill ideas of “opening pitchers,” starting pitchers becoming hittable the third time through the order and pitch counts, we will never ever see another 300-Game Winner. It’s sad because as a kid I always overvalued the Win as a stat. It is an unfair measure to judge a pitcher, compared to the other classic meter – the ERA – but there was something that made you feel good having a 20-Game Winner on your staff. Granted, 20-Game Winners have happened here and there but when 16-8 is looked at as an ace’s record, it’s clearly also becoming a dinosaur. And without 20 + win seasons no one will ever ever reach the 300-Win plateau again.

A .400 Hitter has been out of reach for even longer, yet this could be go the other way with someone who hates striking out and doesn’t concern themselves with launch angles. But unless we unfreeze Ted Williams head and put it on Bryce Harper’s body, this one too will never happen again.

A Legitimate Heavy weight Boxing Division:

As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was clearly spoiled by perhaps the Glory Days of Boxing. Ali, Norton, Frazier, Foreman were all household names and great champions. Any time they stepped into the ring it was electric and can’t miss entertainment. Since the 90’s, I don’t think I can name one single heavyweight champion, unified or not. Who is the guy now… Vladimir something? Might as well be Ivan Drago, because no one cares and no one ever will again. Somehow the violent ballet that Boxing was has been replaced by UFC? I can’t even watch that garbage, yeah maybe that’s old man talk but it’s a bore. Just fight with your fists. If I want full contact I’ll watch Bloodsport or Enter the Dragon, thanks

A True Two-Sport Star:

Yes, this one is a doozy because it was really only a 90’s phenomena; Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. I saw Bo play both baseball and football live and feel blessed that I did. It pained me greatly when his hip got left behind on that sideline run, leaving him as a quick flash in the pan. Neon Deion lasted longer and it was kind of cool when he played in a playoff baseball game and then jetted to a football game immediately following. But this era of specialization and kids focusing on one sport before they are even done with high school makes me think this too will never happen again… Kyler Murray, are you listening? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. I dare you to prove me wrong. Play both at the same time dude, you can do it. Tim Tebow doesn’t count unless he makes the big leagues and then plays in the AAF simultaneously, learns to pass and gets a shot on a NFL team. Not holding my breath there.

Chime in below with your own adds to this list and tune in tomorrow for Different Matt, as he talks Rangers Hockey and Yankee Baseball.

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Replacement Matt, aka Aussie Matt & Trevor Herrick, has been the Minnie Minoso of MTM from Day One. He's willingly been hit in the undercarriage by cricket balls, had beer poured on him from the upper deck and been handed the camera to hold for Tall and Short Matt on countless occasions. In many ways, he's been too valuable to start. But make no mistake, he'd be the headliner on any other bald guy's sports site!

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