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Marques Pfaff
Marques Pfaff
News and thoughts about sports from Marques himself.
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Gomez deal with Mets bred skepticism

Thursday, Jul, 30 2015

The Carlos Gomez trade that never was … where to begin. First of all, it was undoubtedly one of the strangest storylines I’ve ever seen play out in sports. I know a lot of people were disappointed when they learned that Gomez would not be on the move, and I certainly understand that sentiment. That said, there were also plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the players that were reportedly set to join the Brewers. Pundits can talk all they want about Tommy John surgery not being what it once was, and while that's true, it's still not something to simply be brushed aside. Zach Wheeler is not scheduled to be pitching for a major league team again until July of next year. That's a long time to wait just to see whether your end of the trade is able to contribute. Now, if I'm being honest, it's more likely than not that Wheeler will wind up being a very good pitcher -- but there's also a chance that he struggles with his rehab and we don't see that for several years down the road. Consider the case of Ryan Madsen, the pitcher requiring Tommy John surgery in 2011 and didn't return until 2015! At the end of the day, let's just wait and see how this thing plays out. It could wind up even better for Milwaukee.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Some thoughts on last week's Colin Cowherd fiasco ...

Wednesday, Jul, 29 2015

If you listened to the show on Wednesday, you heard me have this conversation with our regular guest Brittany Anderson from Fox Sports 1340 in Las Vegas ... a conversation that centered around the comments of Colin Cowherd last week that ultimately led to his 12-year run with ESPN ending a few weeks premature (Cowherd was set to leave ESPN closer to the end of the month but the network saw fit to part ways sooner given the firestorm that accompanied his comments). Since that time, Cowherd's former colleague Dan LeBatard has come out in defense of the future Fox Sports personality, suggesting we all should have known what Cowherd meant and that his argument had merit. Let me start with Cowherd's comments. As I said on the show, I believe Cowherd to be a very bright individual, but what he said in this instance was stupid and incredibly insensitive. The crux of the argument centered around football being more of a thinking man's game than baseball, and this was supposedly evidenced by the fact that a good percentage of baseball players were Dominican, a country with a poor educational standing. The logic here is so flawed that I still have a hard time believing it came out of Cowherd's mouth. First of all, I genuinely believe Cowherd, like all radio hosts, was simply trying to illustrate his point in a unique way ... to make himself stand out. In an attempt to be different from everyone else, he was looking for an outside-the-box way to make his point and somehow landed on this. Now back to the faulty logic ... to equate intelligence with education is a mistake that would seemingly only be made by an unintelligent person (again, Cowherd is not that, which makes this all the more surprising). Since Cowherd's dismissal, LeBatard has chosen to defend his friend and former colleague. I think it's important to note the two men were friends because part of me believes LeBatard would not be so quick to forgive were they not so close. That said, a good portion of what LeBatard had to say made sense but some of it, not so much. He chose to point out that Cowherd was correct in suggesting Dominican education was not great ... which would be fine if that was the point in dispute. I don't doubt that education on the island is lacking but it still doesn't mean the country does not produce intelligent people. It simply means that it does not produce well-educated individuals at the same rate as others ... and this has little to no bearing on whether someone is able to grasp the rules of a particular sport. Conversely, do Cowherd and LeBatard both think that all football players are incredibly bright individuals -- it would seem they'd have to be in order to grasp such a thinking man's game (sense the sarcasm). The long and short of this post is that I don't believe Cowherd to be a racist but he did make one awful comment and deserves to be chastised for it ... that's part of this business we work in. For LeBatard, it's great to see that kind of loyalty to a friend and former colleague but there are some obvious holes in what he's saying as well. 

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Craig Counsell handles Gomez situation about as well as he could

Tuesday, Jul, 28 2015

It was subtle move on the part of Craig Counsell but I think it bodes well for his career as a major league manager. Last night, after Carlos Gomez made a mistake that seemingly only Gomez is capable of, Counsell came to the defense of his player. For reasons unknown to any rational baseball fan, Gomez was gunned down attempting to steal second base in the 9th, despite the fact his run meant nothing in the scheme of things (the Brewers trailed by two runs and the tying run was at the plate). He was subsequently tossed from the game for throwing his helmet on the way back to the dugout. That prompted Counsell to spring onto the field to "discuss" the merits of the ejection which ultimately led to him being asked to leave the premises as well. After the game in the locker room, Counsell was more direct in addressing Gomez being thrown out, saying back-to-back times "you can't get thrown out there." My point is simply this; Counsell did what a major league manager is supposed to do during the course of a game and that's have your player's back. It sets an example and let's others in the dugout know you're behind them. On the other hand, he made it very clear in his postgame comments that Gomez was wrong for even attempting to steal -- something I would argue his predecessor Ron Roenicke would never do. This isn't intended to be a shot at Roenicke, rather a compliment of Counsell. It's a fine line to walk this day in age when choosing to chastise or back up your players and Counsell did so quite well.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Badgers' academics fiasco must be fixed

Friday, Jul, 24 2015

I talked about this at length on the show Friday but Wisconsin football has a problem right now; one that it must get figured out sooner than later. On Thursday night we learned that once again a prospective student-athlete was denied admission to the university and therefore will not be a member of the Badger family - we learned this roughly two weeks prior fall camp beginning in Madison. It's an unfortunate incident that leaves us with a number of questions, mainly because this isn't the first time in the last two years this has happened. The Badgers have recruited several players from around the country  (many of them coming during the Gary Andersen regime) that were ultimately told they didn't qualify academically at UW. Without the benefit of knowing the exact standards for athletes at UW, we're left to speculate to some degree and my first question is this; what exactly does UW want to be academically? Harvard? Stanford? I ask this because while Wisconsin is a fine institution, I don't fancy it to be heads and tails above others in the Big Ten such as Michigan and Michigan State. You can disagree with me on this but many university rankings have Michigan listed ahead of Wisconsin, yet the Wolverines still find a way to get a number of their players into school there. Now, I can understand if you say you that UW is doing the correct thing here and standards should be the same for any other student that attends UW ... after all, college is meant for academics, right? But if you subscribe to that model of thinking -- which, again, I'm perfectly OK with -- you have to realize that Wisconsin is never going to attain the level of success that Ohio State and others have experienced. It's simply not going to happen. My other problem with this whole process is the amount of time it took UW to inform Stevenson he was not going to be admitted. Sure, the coaching staff was probably working diligently to try and get him into school, but given the number of times this has  happened of late, UW needs to make a determination earlier in the process for the sake of the player. Now, Stevenson is left to find a Division I home after nearly every school has exhausted their scholarships for the year ... and this is a young man that decommitted from Texas in order to make UW his school of choice. The whole situation is growing more and more frustrating with every recruit they lose and it's clear that athletics and the institution need to get on the same page to avoid this type of embarrassment from happening again. Make no mistake, this is hurting their reputation nationally.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Ramirez trade the right move

Thursday, Jul, 23 2015

I have to say, I was getting a little worried. I wasn't sure if the Milwaukee Brewers front office fully grasped the fact they were out of the race this season. I was hopeful they understood. There front office is actually made up of a lot of intelligent people. It's just that emotion sometimes clouds your judgement. The trading of Aramis Ramirez today illustrates that the team's brass is thinking clearly on these issues for the first time in a long time. Now, it doesn't mean they're going to come away with some insane haul of prospects (they simply don't have enough great playes to expect that), but you do have to live in reality and give yourself every opportunity to better the farm club. Hopefully this is just the first piece to fall as Milwaukee looks to rebuild this club and give themselves a legitimate shot at winning again in the near future -- and when I say winning, I mean competing for the post-season with an opportunity to win the World Series. It's never a fun process to build yourself back up, but it's a necessary one. And now I'm now a little more confident we'll see the Brewers make the most of this situation.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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