Ask Gary: Peyton for President?

by Gary Shelton on February 13, 2016 · 1 comment

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays

(Each week, the readers take over and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports.  Think of it as a radio show where you don't have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, make a comment or be funny. Send the questions to

Saturday, 6 a.m.

I was watching cable news last Monday and referring to the SuperBowl, one political commentator said "Peyton Manning should run for president!". I just assumed this person didn't even watch the game.

Howard Powders

President of what? Papa John's Pizza?

You know, Howard, I wish I could tell you that Peyton shouldn't even bother, because the candidates are all so smart and accomplished, but I really can't.

Is Manning really that much less qualified than Donald Trump? Or, not to pick on the Republicans, or anyone else. We've become a nation of celebrity candidates. Jesse Ventura won a gubernatorial election. Al Franken is a senator.

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Who's next? Justin Bieber? Oprah Winfrey? Kim Kardashian?''

I'll say this: If Peyton runs for anything, he'd better have a good defense department. Right?

Who was the better defensive center-fielder - Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?

Scott Myers

Ah, you're talking about the viewpoint of a young boy. I grew up on that argument, as did a lot of us. And I'll say this: Mickey Mantle was my favorite ballplayer ever. I met him at a Yankees' Fantasy Camp, where he was crude but funny. Loved the guy.

All of that said, yeah, I think Mays was better, especially after Mick's knee went bad in 1951. I'm of the minority opinion that Mays was the greatest ballplayer ever in the majors. If not for his military service and Candlestick, he might be the all-time home run leader.

Did you know this? In 1960, writers had to elect an all-decade team. Mays won. But you know that such a discussion will never die.

Buccaneers tell me my season tickets will increase to $75/seat. They tell me that we'll be competitive, we're coming off one of our best offensive seasons, that we'll have new score boards and other renovations, and Mike Smith will be leading the defense. Yea or nay, should I renew?

Rick Martin

Rick, a lot of it depends on the personal joy you receive from being in the stadium on game day. Is that worth the extra dollars to you?

I swear, I didn't blink when I heard the Bucs were having an increase, but not by this much. I wonder how many teams have ever jacked up their ticket prices this much. Especially when a lot of those fans have supported the team through a lot of bad seasons.

A few years ago, my wife's family went in on season tickets, but we were priced out. The families were having kids, and things were busy. So it wasn't just the money. But that was part of it.

I think the Bucs are making it tough on fans to renew. It wasn't just an increase. It was three increases in one.

I'd ask myself this: If the Bucs are good again, will you miss the feeling of being at the yard that day? If not, I'd give it some time. Wait and see. Heck, it isn't like tickets are so hard to find. You can always buy later.

But there are sone fans who enjoy the people they sit near, and some who couldn't dream of not being in the RayJay on Sunday afternoon. If that doesn't matter to you, I'd wait.

With all the great skill and intelligence that hockey players display, all the speed, the action end-to-end, the excitement, why are fights integral to the sport? If you want to see fighting, watch the UFC.

Cecil DeBald

Cecil, fighting is way down in the NHL. And teams don't keep a non-skilled goon on their benches anymore just to instigate.

Terry Crisp once told me that fighting was the best way to retaliate from a stick in the eye. It was the players way of policing themselves. But these days, teams no longer keep boxers on skates on their rosters.

Most hockey fights bore me. They're about tugging on jerseys and missing wildly with punches while everyone else grabs everyone else. These days, I think fans would much rather see a breakaway.

Never too early to ask about the Olympics. Is there a particular match-up of individuals or countries that you are most looking forward to watching?

Cecil DeBald

Like everyone else, I want to see what Michael Phelps does in his final Games. Usain Bolt, too.

But I'll be honest. I don't pay much attention to the Olympic athletes until national trials start. It's then that the stories will start forming, and we'll figure out whether track or gymnastics or volleyball interests us after four years on the back shelf of our minds.

IT'll be different for me. I haven't missed the Summer Games since 1988. Think they'll have a moment of silence for me?

I've said it before: I'm not much into Dream Teams, so the men's basketball, tennis and golf are kind of wasted on me. I do like the U.S. women's soccer team, though.

Spring training is upon us, also. Do you have a favorite story to share from covering the Grapefruit League?

 Cecil DeBald

I remember Lou Piniella's jaw agape when he got a load of Josh Hamilton close up. This was before Hamilton almost ruined his career with drugs.

I remember a Rays coach going through the signs one year, and Hamilton glancing up and saying "what's the sign for a home run?"

I remember Piniella once saying that his team wouldn't finish last that year (and they didn't), and general manager Chuck Lamar gathering the writers to try to talk them out of the story, because not-last is too much darned pressure.

I remember arguing about almost everything with Luke Scott, but neither of us ever getting angry.

I remember Jose Canseco talking about the magic of home runs. Even drug-induced ones.

What did you think of Stammer's remarks about the trade deadline?  Why comment now?   My gut says something is up.   Do you think Toronto's big trade could be related?  They traded their captain and cleared cap space.

Jim Willson

Stamkos has said little things about the trade prospects before. I was a bit surprised he acted as if the deadline could be a solution, however. With the Lightning in the race, I wasn't sure he was going to focus as much as he did.

Your gut, at least, is talking. No one else in the world's slowest negotiation seems to be.

I think Toronto sent a big signal to Stamkos that he'd get big bucks in Canada. They have at least moved enough players to get a deal done. I'm sure the Lightning offer doesn't scare them.

We know this: More money waits for him in Toronto. But the Leafs aren't nearly as prepared to win. So which would you take? Me? I'd think long and hard.

What do you see for the Rays this year. Above .500?
Jim Willson
There are so many unanswered questions. How many players will indeed have the bounce-back year that the Rays are hoping for? How many pitchers will stand up? How many saves will Brad Boxberger have?
My initial reaction is that they'll win about 85 games. If Kevin Cash can stretch that to 90, they've got a shot. But those are the five games that separates a team with possibilities to one that it is outside in the hall.
If Brad Miller can be an everyday shortstop, if Corey Dickerson is really a middle-of-the-order hitter, if Longo turns back the clock a little, I wouldn't be surprised to see this team in the race. But in the spring, doesn't every team have just 2-3 questions?

 I don't know if there has been a ruling yet on Michigan and spring practices in Florida. I believe the SEC stated that that time should be used so students can be completely away from the game (if there is such a thing). Have spring practices, especially out of state practices, been done before or is it a Harbaugh concept? Actually considering some spring break activities spring practices could be safer. That said, could there be concerns about injuries during that time as well? Any thoughts?

Veronica Robinson

My thought is that it's another sham recruiting effort by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

First of all, if you can draw a 150-mile circle, where do you think most Michigan students are? Ann Arbor or Orlando?

Secondly, the last thing that kids from any college want is to watch spring training more than once. I don't think for a second that Harbaugh is moving practice from Ann Arbor to, say, Fort Lauderdale with concerns for making it more accessible for students.

It's to get exposure to a secondary recruiting market. That said, I'm not sure the SEC should have a say in where Michigan practices, but I believe that schools like Rutgers, Illinois and Maryland would follow them into the state. We could have another spring training.




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cecil DeBald February 14, 2016 at 9:36 am

Thanks for the spring training stories, Gary. And, I was in Philly 1970-73 and, as a baseball and football fan went to the Spectrum to see a hockey game – Big old Schultz (why he had a hockey stick I’ll never know) came out about 6 times, skated right over to someone and hammered him. Everyone knew, everyone cheered, I thought it was stupid and didn’t watch pro hockey for 40 years. Still think sanctioned fighting is stupid but you’re right, at least the goons are gone.


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