Ask Gary: Do the Glazers watch their product?

by Gary Shelton on August 13, 2016 · 4 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

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Saturday, 6 a.m.

Do any of the Glazers attend Bucs pre-season games?

Scott Myers

In the past, I have seen them there. Obviously, I don't read their day planners. I don't know how often or which Glazers are there which week. I know if they were there Thursday night, they probably slept through a game that felt as if it was left over from the Lovie Smith years.

The Glazers usually do attend the Bucs' games. I'm not sure it helps, unless Ed can play offensive guard. I don't think not caring is the problem with the Bucs, though. I did back when they were not spending money, but these days, they are. If

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anything, the owners have been overly reactionary in going through coaches. Of course, that doesn't make them successful owners, does it?

We've discussed this before. There are owners (Eddie DeBartolo, Art Rooney, Jerry Jones) who are in the middle of their team's business. There are other owners who keep their distance. I know that when a franchise isn't working, the fans want what they don't have.

Any thoughts on the passing of John Saunders?

Scott Myers

I never met John. I liked him as a pro, however. He didn't beat his chest like Skip Bayless or howl at the moon like Stephen A. Smith.  He didn't pun his way through the highlights like Chris Berman. He just did his job seamlessly and realized we were watching sports for  the sake of sports.

I think Saunders would have been better known if he had attached himself to one sport. Or if he had dressed like a rodeo clown. Or if he had surrounded himself with catch phrases.

Instead, he just did his job. But I know this. I never turned the channel because of John, which may be the highest praise you can give an announcer.

When all is said and done, how do you think Rio will be remembered as an Olympic venue?   Is the IOC becoming as bad as FIFA?

Jim Willson

I think it will be thought of as a bad site with great moments. I think when you think of Rio, it'll be a lot like, say, China. I was fascinated by China, but the smog problems were a lot like the Zika problems. Or Atlanta's traffic problems, maybe.

I don't think you and I will live to see the Olympics go back. Too many problems. I remember at the end of the Atlanta games, Samaranch declined to say, as he always did, that these were the finest games ever.

Why wouldn't the IOC be as bad as FIFA? The Games have been rife with corruption for years.

But at the end of the day, hasn't the competition itself been phenomenal? That's what most of us will remember. Phelps' performance. The soccer team's loss. The gymnasts domination. Serena's loss.

You can say this about a lot of sports. The players are so good that it erases the sins of the higher-ups. Thank goodness.

When a football team can't stop making stupid penalties, which is usually more to blame: coaching or player attitudes?

 Jim Willson

It's a tough choice, but I'm going to say coaches, because they control the playing time. A coach can always put the player one place he can't make a penalty...on the bench.

Don Shula's Dolphins were first or second among the least-penalized teams for years. That was because players knew that Shula would not tolerate penalties.

I've said this before, but a lot of penalties are because players just aren't good enough. Defensive backs grab when they can't cover. Offensive lineman hold when they can't block. Linemen jump offsides when they're seeking an edge.

The Bucs aren't good enough to give away a football field every week. If I was Koetter, I'd stop playing players who can't avoid flags. Because it isn't accidental. It's losing football.

So the Rays have finally realized the catchers they played all year are not really major league quality after all and the shortstop they brought in is not good enough either (although his bat has been a pleasant surprise so kudos there). The first baseman was a bust, as was the left fielder who has an awful glove & subpar bat. The bullpen guys they added are all terrible. The only addition that worked out was Steve Pierce who was going to be “too expensive” to keep so he was traded in August. This begs the question of why should we think that Matt Silverman & his support staff of saber-metric nerds will do any better next year when they try again to rebuild the team?

Larry Beller

Larry, it's certain fair of  you to ask the question. I think the Rays tried far too hard to import power, and they sacrificed in other areas of the game. They weren't athletic enough, and Miller's defense can certainly be questioned.

The entire Rays' equation, I think, was built around the premise of solid starting pitching. If the starting pitching isn't good next year, well, the Rays won't be, either.

Is Silverman good enough? At this point, we don't know. He's made too many trades where part of the return is still in the minors. If those players blossom, then you may want to re-assess. For right now, it doesn't look good. The front office is in the cellar, too.

Should athletes with a history of doping be permanently banned from ever participating in all future Olympic games, no exceptions?

Howard Powders

My gut reaction is to say yes and to slam my fist as I say it.

On the other hand, from what little I know about doping, there seem to be a lot of shades. Is taking a breathing aid for a swimmer, while banned, the same thing as Marion Jones' doping?

I do know that the lifespan of most Olympians is brief, and that alone makes doping severe. Ben Johnson wasn't able to come back.

When it comes to doping, there are so many disguises. I've sat in the Olympics and had smarter people than me suggest that this guy was juicing or that guy was. And those guys should be kicked out. If they have to cheat, why are they there.

But to follow your logic, we're going to need a clear definition of what doping is and exactly what an athlete does. I don't think all steroids are the same. But I could be wrong.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller August 13, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Yeah that’s what I thought too. And if fans stop showing up well they will hardly notice because they don’t show up anyway. I have to believe TV ratings are lower this year though. On some levels I was happy to see the Rays look for more offense because even though they had great pitching the last few years they were still losing games 1-0 & 2-1 at a steady clip & they became almost unwatchable. They have to strike a balance between the right amount of increased offense while maintaining top notch defense. Hard to do with the selection of free agents they pick from at the low end of the salary pool and not developing their own home grown position players. Plus it seems as though offense comes to die at the Trop. Not a good hitting park among other things.

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Gary Shelton August 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Larry: In free agency, what’s the most expensive thing to find? It’s offense. The big money teams snap those guys up. Add to that that this team has been good at developing pitching, but not so much hitting. So it leaves an offensive chasm.

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Larry Beller August 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

Gary, I do agree that the overreach for power was the main cause in the defense dropping off which probably contributed to the poor showing by the pitchers. But for crying out loud why did we have to suffer with Hank Conger? Also a lack of depth in the bullpen was a major problem too. Some of it was the practice of pulling pitchers early & over using certain relievers who as a result became ineffective. Andrew Friedman was so good to find new bullpen pitchers every year so there were always a fresh supply of arms but we aren’t seeing that now. As a follow up question I’m wondering if Longoria’s statements in the press about wanting to win now will have ANY impact on the Rays practice of keeping payroll at a league low again next year?

Reply

Gary Shelton August 13, 2016 at 9:39 am

Evan just works here. A player always wants to win now. I’m afraid it won’t have a lot to do with the team’s blueprints,

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