Ask Gary: Did Hard Knocks alter perceptions?

by Gary Shelton on September 9, 2017 · 4 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Rays

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Saturday, 4 a.m.

Has Hard Knocks raised or lowered, or left unchanged your impression of Koetter, Winston, McCoy, Licht? Maybe you already knew of their personalities beforehand due to you media access. I'm kind left with a lower amount of confidence.

Rick Martin

Rick, I knew them, but this gave me -- like everyone else -- some new insights. I like that part of the show. You saw them when they were annoyed, when they were light, etc. I really thought it was worth it just to get to know these guys a little.

I know no fan really likes another team's quarterback, but I thought Winston was outstanding. He was funny, he was bubbly, he was out in front on this team.

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I didn't know a lot about his upbringing, but it's clear to see how that played a part in his growth as a person. I liked how he interacted with his teammates. I liked having it reinforced to me that -- like him or not -- he's a genuine guy. All this "I'm so blessed" isn't an act. I think that's important, because too many players try to act like something they aren't.

I thought it reflected well on Koetter. I think there is a thought nationally that Koetter got his job because he gets on well with Winston, but that doesn't mean he doesn't coach him. Koetter's reaction to Winston's lame-brained decision in the Jacksonville preseason game was perfect. He was caring, and he mentioned the good that Winston had done. But he kept stressing that a throw like that isn't acceptable. I thought Koetter came across well when he was cutting players. Again, I've known coaches who completely dismissed players who didn't measure up. Hey, it isn't their fault they aren't talented enough.

Licht had a little tougher time of it. He can be funny and insightful, and I think he's done more good than bad in his time. But he came across as petty when Jeremy McNichols didn't want to be on his practice squad. Hey, if he's that valuable, don't cut him. Licht's a better guy than that.

McCoy has long been a favorite of mine. I think he has a great perspective to life, and to football. He can be a tad thin-skinned, but he plays hard, and his heart is in the right place. I would have liked to have seen him in his Batman suit.

I think if you were, say, a Rams fan or a Houston fan, you might have shrugged the whole thing off because of the lack of a great offense in preseason despite all the hype. But if this team has a good season, I think it's going to pick up some fans it didn't have before. Fans will pull for their teams, but I think they'll be fond of the Bucs, too.

If they lose, of course, everyone will forget.

The 15 MLB starting pitchers that currently have $100 million contracts or greater are being paid an average of $24.7 million for the 2017 season.  They are averaging just under 6 innings per start and are on track to average 154 innings pitched for the season which works out to the equivalent of 17 complete 9 inning games.

The 32 MLB non-pitchers that currently have $100 million contracts or greater are being paid an average of $20.5 million for the 2017 season.  They are on track to average playing in 105 games this year.

Which of these two groups is more underpaid?

Scott Myers

You know, just before the late, great Jerry Lewis died, he was thinking about the same thing: Which one of these impoverished groups should he do a telethon for? And where should I send my donations?

It's silly, isn't it? You're the best, Scott, at pointing out the silliness of major league salaries. You should do a study on who the best bargain in baseball was this year? Who had the most home runs per dollar, etc.

Bill Veeck once wrote that, as silly as the salaries were getting (and he didn't have any idea what they would become), the real theft was about average players making silly money. For instance, you can defend Chris Sale making his salary more than an average third baseman making his.

It's gotten to be silly. I don't mind that these guys are rich; I really don't. They have skills that are rare, and desired, in our society. But do they have to be filthy stinking rich for being slightly above average (if that)?

Then you couple the entitlement that, say, David Price has shown (his rant against Dennis Eckersley was foolish), and you can only shake your head.

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