Throwback Saturday Part VIII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jerry Sandusky (pictured above) is one of the many faces that represents a year of scandal in the NCAA.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the eighth edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  By this point, I think you all know the drill.  What was happening in the wide world of sports on March 10, 2011?  How about on March 10, 2010?  Well let’s find out.

One year ago..

State of College Athletics

Here is a snippet..

“The NCAA’s core purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”

That is directly from the NCAA website.

It’s hard to believe in those words these days.

Reggie Bush.

Cam Newton.

The “Tat Five.”

Lane Kiffin.

Bruce Pearl.

Jim Calhoun.

Jim Tressel.

All of those people were recently involved in major scandals in college athletics. Don’t forget about oversigning either. College athletics is in worse shape than LeBron James’ reputation in Cleveland.

What’s worse is some university presidents and athletic directors will stand by these men at all costs (To finish reading this post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

A few names to add to that list.

Nevin Shapiro.

Joe Paterno.

Jerry Sandusky.

Graham Spanier.

Jim Boeheim.

Bernie Fine.

Varez Ward.

And believe me I could go on. Our former correspondent Grant Freking hit the nail on the head with this post one year ago.  College athletics were in bad shape with a downward spiraling reputation.  With the events that have occurred over the past 12 months, things have gone from bad to downright ugly.  Will the NCAA ever be able to mend its reputation?  Or do they really care to?  College athletics continue to make it rain with money at campuses across the country.  So the problems get put on the back-burner unfortunately.  I do not see this changing any time soon considering money is what makes the world go round.

Two years ago..

We Need You Big Guy

Here is a snippet..

Aaron Harang picked up right where he left off after an abysmal 6 and 14 season last year in his first spring training action.  Harang only threw 1 and 1/3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits.  Aaron was scheduled to throw 3.  Harang has already been slotted as the Reds Opening Day starter.  The Reds have had the big guy since 2003. Harang was a go to guy to eat up innings and pound the zone.

Aaron is a huge guy who can really intimidate when he is rolling.  During his first few years with the Reds, he was near the top of the League in strikeouts and innings pitched.  What else could you want from your number 1 starter? He went out, pounded the strike zone, and competed. In his 3rd and 4th seasons, Harang went a combined 32 and 17 with 8 complete games.  He really was coming into his own and anchoring the pitching staff.  The past two years though, have been disastrous.  Harang has compiled a record of 12 and 31 with just 3 complete games.  These are unacceptable stats from your number 1 starter and are probably a reason why the Reds have not sniffed the playoffs (To finish reading this post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

Apparently, I was way off with this one.  The Reds did not need the “Big Guy” to perform in order to win.  2010 was a magical year for a city that had waited over 15 years for their team to return to postseason play.  Walt Jocketty and Reds ownership truly delivered on their “Win Now” promise.  And sure the Philadelphia Phillies ended the dream really fast with a divisional series sweep, but nobody can ever take away the feeling that Cincinnati fans felt when Jay Bruce blasted the infamous “Shot Heard Around the Banks” on September 28th against the Houston Astros.  On the year, the Reds won 91 games and finished above 500 for the first time since the year 2000.  Not much of this success can be attributed to the Reds former number one starter, Aaron Harang.

Thank god for the emergence of guys like Travis Wood, Mike Leake, and Arthur Rhodes.  Of course it was nice to see Bronson Arroyo rediscover his youth for a year too.  Harang finished the 2010 season with his lowest innings pitched total since 2003 (111.2).  In addition, Harang won just six games and posted a 5.32 ERA.  This was his worst ERA since he was a member of the Oakland A’s in 2003 also.  Mid-market teams like the Cincinnati Reds will never wow you with their star power due to lacking financial resources, though Cincinnati has some stars this year in Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.  162 games is a heck of a ride.  For middle-market teams to compete, guys that nobody is expecting to step up must in order to make a run at the playoffs.  In 2010, Wood and Leake were those guys in regards to pitching.  Joey Votto was that guy in regards to plate production.  And of course Scott Rolen seemed to drift back in time a good 5 to 10 years as well. Who will be those guys in 2012?  Hopefully someone.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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One response to “Throwback Saturday Part VIII

  1. Pingback: Throwback Saturday Part IX | TheSportsKraze

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