The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019

Monday Mailbag: July 15, 2019

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about long professional sports seasons, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and Van Wert’s offense.

Q: I recently saw that the NBA is considering shortening the regular season from its current 82 games to as low as 58 games. This seems like a good idea to me, considering especially the large number of injuries to key players late in the season and during the playoffs. Some coaches rest their stars during certain regular season games precisely for this reason.

What are your thoughts on this, considering such factors as dollars, injuries, fan interest, etc?

Maybe you could also address the long, long major league baseball season (where World Series weather could be added to the list of factors). Name withheld upon request

A: I agree, it’s a good idea to shorten pro sports seasons, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

I have a very hard time believing the NBA would cut the regular season schedule by roughly 30 percent. There’s too much money at stake, especially in terms of television dollars. Plus, I seriously doubt the players would agree to a pay cut that would go along with that type of shorter schedule.

Could the regular season schedule be trimmed back to 75 or even 70 games? Probably, and the players might go for it. But when’s the last time we saw any professional sports league cut down on the number games?

I love basketball, but the NBA season is too long. It starts in October and runs into mid-June. Basketball season should be December through April.

As far as Major League Baseball, I’ve said for a long time that it’s ridiculous to start in late March or early April, especially in cold weather cities. Who wants to go to a Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Boston, Cleveland etc. game when it’s 38 degrees?

On the topic of the MLB postseason, it’s a shame that it has to end in late October or even early November, when weather again becomes a factor.

As much as I like baseball, I wouldn’t have a problem seeing the regular season begin in mid to late April and end on Labor Day, with the playoffs to follow. However, don’t hold your breath for that.

Some NFL owners are pushing for an 18 game season now. Besides the owners, who really wants to see two more regular season games added to each team’s schedule, especially if your favorite team has the potential to go 2-16?

Q: What are your thoughts on the antics and comments by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team? Name withheld upon request

A: If you’re asking me to talk about the political side of it, I have no comment, simply because I don’t discuss politics with anyone.

Now, do I think some of them could have behaved a little better on the field? Yes, but that’s just me. While I enjoy in-game or postgame celebrations as much as the next person, I also thought some of the celebrating by some of the players was a bit over the top and at times, bordered on taunting. Again, that’s just my opinion. I understand scoring goals and winning on a global level is special.

If you’re wondering, yes, I’d say the same thing about celebrations in other sports, regardless of gender, as well.

Q: With the loss of Nate Place to graduation, will Van Wert change the offense at all? Name withheld upon request

A: Place is a tough act to follow (1591 yards rushing, 27 touchdowns, 1751 yards passing, 13 touchdowns, plus two receiving touchdowns), but for the answer to that question, I went directly to Van Wert head football coach Keith Recker. This was his response:

“Nate is obviously a difficult player to replace, but as with every season we look at who are the guys that we need to get the football to. Last year Nate was the guy that needed to get the ball. This year we will have multiple guys that we need to get the ball to, which will include throwing the ball more than what we did last year. Our formations and plays don’t change much, just which plays we emphasize more will change.”

If you have a question for the next Monday Mailbag, email it to sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 07/14/19 at 10:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports