Big Ben Tuesday: Covid Sports Changes We Should Keep, Yankees Rolling, NFL Injuries

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STAMFORD, CT –When Angry Ward and Dude (get well soon) were falling over each other to predict the doom of all sports in 2020, I was here to reassure you. Maybe it’s because as much as 90% of positive PCR tests might not mean much, according to the #failingNYTimes, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole. In the meantime, I’ve been coming around to several of the changes made by the MLB, NHL & NBA to get their seasons in. Some of this stuff should stay. I’ll also touch on the Yankees’ Hot Streak (the last two games notwithstanding) and the Mountain of NFL Injuries.

 

Keep It

MLB: We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. 60 games might be a little light for a season but would anyone object to baseball lopping off 1/3 of the games? And how about starting a bit later than a week outta winter.

I’m also fine with the three batter minimum for relievers, and surprisingly, the extra inning runner on second. They both add new strategic elements. Do you bring in the lefty to face a lefty with two outs, with two righty sluggers after that? Do you play for one run on the road in extra innings knowing the home team starts with a guy on second too? The changes have added some excitement and there has been some wild endings. If we can live with shootouts in hockey we can get used to this. I’m even open to seven inning double headers.

Inside the NBA Bubble… (Photo courtesy of MGM)

Bubbles

These things rule! I picture the teams walking around in there between games like the Jets and the Sharks. (Not the ones from Winnipeg and San Jose). They’re pulling pranks on each other and having their bench warmers try to get the other team’s star players wasted the night before the game. Picture Hot Dog The Movie meets Meatballs meets Semi-Pro. Or maybe I’m just listing amazing movies.

And kudos to Rockets forward Danuel House for trying to get down with the Covid nurse. I’m not sure she was technically a nurse, but it sounds better. And hey, she was already in the bubble. That’s thinking outside the box. Er, bubble… Can’t they let some single ladies in there after a quarantine?

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Bombers Bombing

Last week Junoir Blaber astutely observed the Yankees were in a tailspin after they had won five straight. Nothing gets by that guy. Well, things have continued to fall into place for the Bombers. JA Happ is dealing and stepping up to the vacant third starter spot. Bullpen order has been restored. They’re getting healthy and mashing the ball. And it looks like they’re headed for a match-up with their favorite first round whipping boy, the Minnesota Twins. Junoir, can you bet against the Yankees every round?

NFL Injuries

NFL stars were dropping this week like 1970s game show references almost no one gets in a Short Matt post or brooding superhero shows on Netflix. Everyone was quick to blame the lack of preseason games, but I’m not convinced. It was Week 2, these guys had already played a game. In a normal preseason, the stars play about the equivalent of one full game in preseason. Wouldn’t the injuries have come in the first week? Maybe easing in helps but it’s hard to say for sure. It’s a rough sport. Someone could fall on Christian McCaffrey’s ankle any week. Poor Saquon.

That’s my time, you guys have been great. Try the veal, it’s the best in the City. Swing by tomorrow for Angry Ward, who’ll be looking to extend the Hot Dog the Movie mention streak to two games. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts

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About Ben Whitney 227 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.