Random thoughts: Could Manning lead the Jets?

by Gary Shelton on May 19, 2019 · 4 comments

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Rumor has it that the Jets want Peyton Manning to be their general manager. But football isn't like hockey. Most of great players don't make great administrators. Of course, you can debate that point using John Elway's name...on both sides.

-- According to the Thescore.com, the Bucs have a whole one percent chance of making the Super Bowl in the next three years. Only the Giants, Dolphins, Bengals and Broncos (all at one-half percent) are less likely to make the big game.

-- Proof that David Carr was hit in the skull too many times. He says Joe Montana isn't a top 10 quarterback (all-time) because he benefitted "from Bill Walsh's system." After four Super Bowl wins and three Super Bowl MVPs, that's just not controversial. That's stupid. Name me a quarterback in the history of the game who didn't play in a system.

-- By the way, couldn't you dismiss Tom Brady, too. He's played for a genius, too.

-- Will a PED suspension hurt Patrick Peterson's chances of the Hall of Fame. Yes. And it damned well should.

-- LaMar Odom was graphic in how he cheated to pass his drug test during the 2004 Olympics. I'm not going into detail, but it explains what attracted Kloe Kardashian.

-- Turns out, Magic Johnson IS irreplaceable.

-- All in all, I imagine that Manning will find Brad Paisley much easier to work with than Sam Donaldson.

--  It's certainly understandable why Dave Gettleman was fired by the Jets. But I wonder if Gettleman looks around and says "Jason Licht?"

-- Maybe I'm wrong, but does anyone else think that Austin Meadows might be the best. young player (non-pitcher) to come through Tampa Bay since Evan Longoria.

-- Ben Zobrist is getting divorced from his wife Julianna? Just think of all those walk-up songs he could have enjoyed?

-- So if the Jets start with Manning and work their way down through retired quarterbacks, how long before they get to Josh Freeman?



Meadows' 11th-inning homer led the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

He isn't just a piece anymore. He isn't just a talented backup singer. He isn't a complementary player.

These days, you could argue that Austin Meadows is the best Tampa Bay Ray of them all.

Granted, he has just turned 24 years old. Yes, he has played in only 86 games. Already, however, Meadows has shown that he has the flair to help to lead this team.

Saturday, it was Meadows' 11th-inning home run that lifted Tampa Bay to a 2-1, 11-inning victory over the New York Yankees, a game that reclaimed first place in the AL East. Meadows, hitting .247, launched a one-out homer 397 feet to give the Rays their first extra-inning win of the year.

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Alvarado couldn't slam the door on the Yankees./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Somewhere in the smoking rubble that was left after Jose Alvarado's biggest meltdown of the season, the Rays' claim on first place in the AL lies smoldering.

And, man, was this one hard to take.

Alvarado, who has been nearly perfect for most of the season, couldn't stop a Yankees' comeback Saturday night. New York scored three times in the ninth to win a 4-3 game and grab first place from the Rays.

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Friday, 4 a.m.

The air is quieter now.

The opinions are not as loud. The approval is not as gleeful. The disapproval is not as vicious.

Steve Duemig has left us, and we are poorer for his passing.

Duemig, the opinionated, irreverent, fearless, dogged voice of Tampa Bay Sports, has said goodnight. Duemig died Thursday after a battle with brain cancer. I'm surprised he didn't win.

We got along, mostly. That is, when he wasn't flaying me on the radio airways. But that's part of it. A good radio host often disagrees with the columnist for the major newspaper. And so we disagreed a thousand times, but there is an old saying. "If two men always agree, then one of them is not necessary."

Over the years, Steve had a lot of guests. But he didn't need them. His show was always at its best when Steve was talking, arguing, lambasting. He had a good voice, and was always convinced he was right. He could talk hockey, football, horse racing, golf, all with great conviction.

There was the time Steve had a source who told him, without question, that the Bucs were being sold. There were no qualifiers. It was going to happen. And then it didn't.

There was a time I was at the PGA Championship, and most of the leaders took turns blowing the tournament on the 18th green. These were the finest golfers on the planet, and they were putting like, well, me. So I had great fun with it the next morning. Steve, who was a far better golfer than I was, took exception. He dedicated an entire show to saying "let's see you make a put for millions of dollars on the line." I responded, "Sure, but let's also give me $20 million in the bank. That should lessen the pressure."

For a time, he was hard on then-Rays' manager Joe Maddon, talking about how the Rays had plateaued under his leadership. But it was a pretty good plateau, wasn't it?

There were the Dilfer wars. Now, if I was a quarterback of team in a town the size of the Bucs, the first thing I would do would be to hire the fiercest critic to do my show. That would dull the teeth of the criticism. But Dilfer didn't do that, and Steve made his life a living torment.  I remember I once did a column on the voices of Tampa Bay sports, and my segment on Deumig was a caller saying "Dilfer sucked." And Duemig responded with "No, he really sucks." And the caller said. "I think he really, really sucks." And Duemig said "he really, really, really sucks.

Then there was his defense of Alstott, a fine player who ran into a streak of fumbling at one point in his career. Duemig once blamed the other 10 offensive players for not recovering Alstott's fumbles.

Even in the brief time that I was on the airwaves, on a rival station, Duemig owned the radio in this town. His opinions carried weight, whether he was defending Mike Alstott's fumbling or criticizing Trent Dilfer's passing.

We did a segment together a couple of years ago. I was trying to get this website going, and he had lost a co-host. So we chatted about Tampa Bay sports. I'm biased, but I think it was an hour worth listening to. He was a radio host since 1991. I joined the Times in 1990. Together, we had seen a lot.

This is the truth. I never minded Steve criticizing me. It was his job, and I was a target. I would challenge this point or that one, but never his right to disagree. He would text me "going after you tomorrow." And I would be the guy in the dunking booth.

But he was never mean, and he was rarely not informed. He lit up the switchboard like no radio host before or after.

Maybe you didn't like him. Probably you did. He was as big as his opinions, as sharp as his thoughts, as relentless as the summer sun. He was the Big Dog, and a lot of people loved it when he barked.

I was one of them.

Goodbye, Steve. We'll miss you.


Rays shut out Marlins once again to win

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Morton, Garcia team up to clobber Marlins

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Rays have found a bit of trouble on their journey

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Rays struggle again in loss to New York Yankees

May 13, 2019 general

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Random thoughts: Here in Tampa Bay, we’re hurting

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It started when Victor Hedman was hurt in the playoffs. Then it was Jason Pierre-Paul. Now it’s Tyler Glasnow. Suddenly, Tampa Bay Sports are a MASH unit. — Not only that, but the Red Power Ranger died. — According to theBigLead.com, the Rays’ Kevin Cash is the third-best manager in baseball. That’s three slots ahead […]

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Diaz’ power enables Rays to hold onto first place

May 12, 2019 general

Sunday, 4 a.m. He has muscles, okay? And those muscles have muscles. And those muscles have muscles. And these days, Yandy Diaz is flexing them for the world to see. Diaz put on a show Saturday night, homering to left, homering to right and hitting two deep fly balls to center to lead the Rays […]

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