Shots in the Darke
Well, I see that Baker Mayfield finally knows where he’ll be playing this coming NFL season after being traded to the Carolina Panthers for a fourth-round selection in a future draft and the Browns agreeing to pay over $10 million of his salary this year to leave town. He’ll join another 2018 draftee in Sam Darnold in competing for the Panthers starting job. It’s amazing how the number one and the number three selections in the ‘18 draft have fallen so swiftly from lofty expectations as franchise QBs.
Third year head coach Matt Rhule is already squirming on the hot seat as the Panthers haven’t performed as well as expected. With the team investing in this year’s third round pick of Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Rhule will have his hands full in choosing a starter and trying to keep his job! He’d better hope that all-around running back Christian McCaffrey stays healthy this year!
As for the Browns, they’re holding their breath on the upcoming NFL decision regarding Deshaun Watson. If, as expected, the league suspends Watson for a period of time, possibly even one year, the Orange and Brown are looking at a season with Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs calling signals. Does that inspire a lot of confidence in all of you residents of the Dawg Pound?
The 150th Open Championship, British version, tees off this Thursday at the Old Course in St. Andrews, home of golf as we know it. Tiger Woods returns to action again as he tries to overcome his physical problems and compete with all of the young guns currently on tour. I see that two-time Open champion Greg Norman, the leading voice of the renegade LIV tour, has become a persona non grata and been excluded from participating in the annual Champions Dinner and Celebration of Champions competition. Evidently it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature and the Royal and Ancient! Can’t say that I feel sorry for him!
Something old, something new at Wimbledon this week as Novak Djokovic won the men’s singles title for the seventh time while relatively unknown Elena Rybakina took home the women’s silver platter. Outstanding tennis on the hallowed grass of Wimbledon, even with some of the antics of Australia’s Nick Kyrgios during the course of the event and championship match. Got to hand it to him, never saw anybody serve underhanded and even between the legs in such an important contest. Haven’t even seen that on the City Park courts!
How about the Reds sweeping the Rays three straight over the weekend! A balk-off win Friday, a walk-off win on Saturday, and a pounding of the Tampa Bay pitching staff on Sunday put the Reds in position where if they can win 22 more in a row they’ll be back to .500 for the season!
WNBA superstar Brittney Griner continues to remain imprisoned in Russia following her arrest several months ago on charges of bringing illegal drugs into the country. A “trial” saw Griner enter a guilty plea as a precursor to possible negotiations for her release in a prisoner exchange with the U.S. Facing up to 10 years in prison, the 6’9” Griner has become a pawn in an international game of one-upmanship.
What are your thoughts on Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols being selected to the All-Star game rosters for this year’s mid-summer classic? Pujols is batting .200 with four homers while Cabrera is at .308 with only three dingers. Both are sure fire Hall of Fame inductees—I guess I don’t have a problem with their picks as long as they are considered extras and don’t cause a worthy player to be left off the team. I’ve always felt that MLB’s All-Star game is the only one of the major sports’ showcases worth watching!
Finally, hats off to the Darke County Center for the Arts and another great night on the Library lawn with this year’s rendition of BBQ and Blues. Despite the threat of inclement weather a large crowd enjoyed an outstanding program by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience—throw in food trucks and an appreciative audience and it proved once again that Darke Countians know how to have a good time!
Area farmers and golf course managers were thrilled with the rains that came last week. Definitely needed and desperately wanted, crops and fairways both drank heartily of the moisture from the heavens. It’s good to be green again, have a great week!