Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Panthers, Favre, A-Rod .....

Lots of things cluttering the brain of late. Time to clean things up.


Have been noticing this year's Panthers Camp Wofford has been remarkably quiet. That's a good thing. There are a lot of questions surrounding this team: They have been hit with injuries, and that has kept some key contributors (WR Steve Smith, RB Jonathan Stewart just to name a few), on the sidelines. If there is any concern about the rather low decibel level coming from Spartanburg, it might be that with all the questions, there have come very few answers. Yes, I know it's been just 1 full week of practices, and still so much has yet to be determined. Still, the fact that things remain mostly sedate is a bit, well, strange.

On Wednesday, RT Jeff Otah was in Charlotte for arthroscopic knee surgery--basically a clean-up procedure. Head Coach John Fox seemed (by all accounts), fine in this development, and he is hopeful Otah can be ready to go by the season opener. Injuries have been a headline in this camp, and as such, the team finally went full speed in a goal-line drill on Wednesday. Their first live action of camp. Fox has had to be especially careful with his projected starters, and there is no sense in burning them up if he doesn't have to. Fans will get a shot to see more full speed drills on Saturday at Fan Fest at Bank of America Stadium.


Yes, it's Favre-A-Palooza time once again, but unlike last year, I am actually on the side of the aging quarterback. This time, I actually believe him. I actually think he's contemplating retirement. I don't think his career is over, but I do think he is giving it some serious thought, but only because of a slow-to-heal ankle. If he can play, he will. His comments made on Wednesday from Hattiesburg, MS were quite telling. He was concise in his answers, yet not rebellious. He was straight to the point, unlike the wishy-washy Favre we have seen twice before. Maybe he's as tired of the circus as we are. Or maybe, just maybe, he is seeing and NFL season without him in it. Again, it may not be this year, but even he has to realize that day is much closer than it was, just 24 hours ago.


A-Rod became the 7th member of the 600 Career Home Run Club on Wednesday afternoon, hitting a 2 run shot to straightaway center field at Yankees Stadium. Fairly impressive accomplishment, as he joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa in that exclusive group. A-Rod, though, is the youngest to do it at 35 years, and 8 days.

Couple things about this accomplishment. Many will say that Rodriguez, Sosa, and Bonds were a part of baseball's "steroids" era, and that would be accurate. Rodriguez, himself, admitted that he had taken performance enhancers, but discontinued that use. Does that usage taint his accomplishment? Depends on your stance on steroids. To me, steroids made players stronger, and gave them the ability to recover faster from workouts, games, etc. Steroids have no influence on being able to put the bat on the ball. I am a little torn on this one, because I'm not foolish enough to think that steroids didn't help A-Rod, Sosa or Bonds hit homers that would have been long fly-ball outs if they weren't using. No doubt, being just a little stronger helped some of those homers that ended up in the first or second row, rather than being caught on the warning track. Still, hitting a baseball is one of the hardest athletic disciplines there is. That's hand-eye coordination, not strength.

For me, A-Rod deserves credit for getting to 600, but it's one of those things that I will wait to see if he reaches the 700 mark. If he does that, he may be able to shake the connection to the juice. Still, 100 more homers is a lot to ask of a guy that is 35 years old. Time, as they say, will tell.

Mike Solarte

1 comment:

Matthews said...

Hi Mike,

Long time listener, first time caller. Just wanted to tell you how much I love reading your blog while I'm working out here in Denver...