Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opining on the Yankees Disabled List roster, the Buffalo Bills new QB and Syracuse hoops

                The lineup Joe Girardi was forced to field in yesterday’s season opener qualifies as a true April Fool’s Day joke. And here’s something even more foolish: The money the Yankees are spending on their All-Star Disabled List roster is $91 million. That’s higher than the payroll of 16 big-league teams. Toss in the $8.5 mil New York is paying current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett and that’s close to $100 million for players not currently in the Bronx Bombers lineup.
                Some Bills fans are miffed about the signing of journeyman Kevin Kolb, but I think it’s a smart move, given the circumstances. He’s two years younger than Ryan Fitzpatrick and has a much stronger arm. Buffalo was interested in retaining Fitz, but he refused to restructure his contract and he wanted guarantees that he would remain the starter, so the Bills had no choice but to jettison him. This is not to say that Kolb is the answer by any means. He became shell-shocked behind the Arizona Cardinals porous offensive line, and there are concerns that the pounding may have turned him into a jittery, check-down QB. But I think he might be OK behind the Bills line, which is still better than the Cardinals front wall despite the loss of Andy Levitre. The bottom line is that Kolb is merely a place-holder quarterback. The Bills will still draft a QB later this month. It just might not be in the first round. And that rookie QB will be given a legitimate shot at the No. 1 job this summer.
                Jim Boeheim’s fierce loyalty extends beyond his players and staff and into the basketball coaching profession, where he has helped numerous peers land jobs – including the coach he’ll face in Saturday’s Final Four. Boeheim picked up the phone and advocated strongly on behalf of John Beilein to get both the Canisius and West Virginia head coaching jobs. The legendary SU coach’s recommendations obviously carried some weight because Beilein wound up coaching at both places before heading to Ann Arbor. Boeheim became familiar with Beilein’s work at LeMoyne College, a Division II program located just a few miles from the Carrier Dome.
                Whereas Boeheim has spent 50 years at his alma mater as a player, assistant and head basketball coach, Beilein has led a nomadic basketball existence, making stops at Newfane (N.Y.) High School, Erie Community College, Nazareth College, LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan. He’s won 672 games along the way and after 1,075 games, he’s finally made it to the Division I Final Four.
                Beilein is a Lockport, N.Y. native and remains a huge Bills fan and is good friends with longtime Bills play-by-play announcer John Murphy.
                Not that it has any bearing whatsoever on Saturday’s game, but Boeheim is 9-0 vs. Beilein.
                You can check out more of my musings on Syracuse in the Final Four at WROC TV-8's website - www.rochesterhomepage.net. I'll also be talking about the Cuse on their 5 o'clock newscast this Friday and following Saturday night's game.

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