Discover more from Bald Faced Truth by John Canzano
Canzano: Mailbag deals with Ducks, Beavers, Blazers, Pac-12 and... spray-tan ladies?
Your questions, my answers...
I was born in Oregon. I’m native. My father was playing minor league baseball in the New York Mets’ organization when mom was pregnant with me. During the offseason, dad enrolled in classes at Southern Oregon University.
I was born in Medford.
My first address was in Ashland.
I’m having a lot of fun with this new writing endeavor. I’m writing what I want, when I want and telling the stories I think need to be told. I appreciate everyone who has supported by reading, subscribing and giving a gift subscription. Also, a big ‘thank you’ to those who have helped others find my new column home.
Thank you, all.
Today’s mailbag is a gas…
“I don’t know why I was thinking about this the other day, but why do we call the head ‘Coach’ in baseball a ‘Manager’ and in every other team sport they are simply called a coach? Baseball has pitching coaches, hitting coaches, first-base coaches, but the head coach is a… manager. What’s the story?” — Greg Belair
Answer: Why stop there? The manager in baseball wears a uniform. Why doesn’t the football coach or basketball coach wear one? Hmmm… your “manager” question dates back to the mid-19th century origin of the game and it includes our uniform answer as a bonus. Baseball is older than other sports. In its infancy, the person who filled out the lineup card was also playing in the game. That person was designated as a “field manager,” who would come up with the lineup and manage the dugout in addition to suiting up and playing.
“Will Oregon and Oregon State have at least nine wins next season?” — @Cool_Brezze
Answer: Las Vegas set the over/under win total line on the Oregon Ducks at 8.5 victories for Dan Lanning’s first season. I think that line is set dead right. There are eight solid victories on Oregon’s schedule. The other four games come in the form of a dicey opener vs. Georgia and tough home games vs. BYU, UCLA and Utah. If Oregon wins at least one of those four games, they will get to nine. Oregon State is going to start 3-0 and is a solid 7-8 win team to me. Vegas has the Beavers’ win total set at 5.5. Take the over. That one is easy.
“Mike Riley to UAB?: — @DAVIDJMAYS_
Answer: Head coach Bill Clark’s resignation due to a health issue puts this question on the table, but UAB named Bryant Vincent as interim coach. There’s some speculation that Clark might return after back surgery, too. I think Riley, 68, still has the energy and the expertise, but the fit doesn’t feel like it’s there.
“Nebraska the next National Champion?” — @KevinAn91288799
Answer: Stop — and be happy with eight wins next season.
“Is Trail Blazers’ GM Joe Cronin being authentic saying he worked every trade angle but at end of day they weren’t there? Or is this more left over Neil Olshey ‘two to tango’ BS that really meant: ‘Unless it’s my spray-on tan lady or someone offering two firsts and an All Star for Festus Ezeli, I’m unavailable’? — @Derek_E_Philips
Answer: I believe Cronin. Also, I’m laughing out loud.
“Are the Blazers looking to morph into a Warriors style team?” — @johnfdillinjr
Answer: Golden State’s success has affected the way GMs across the league view personnel and the draft. The Warriors won the title with eight of its own draft picks on the roster. If you’re Portland — which has traditionally struggled in free agency — you need to pay attention to this. It’s why I liked the team keeping the No. 7 pick for themselves and using it on a 6-foot-6 player who is versatile and athletic with high upside (See: Warriors).
“I hear CFB and University of Oregon ticket sales are soft. Why?” — @Mattarnis
Answer: College football saw a year-over-year decline in attendance, even before the pandemic hit. The sport was in a downward attendance trend, and that included the Big Ten and SEC programs. I think it’s a variety of additional factors in Oregon’s case. The cost is prohibitive for some families, the change of head coaches has caused some wait-and-see consumerism, and the Ducks don’t host Oregon State this season. Also, Oregon isn’t the consensus pick to win the Pac-12.
Answer: I use the statewide radio show and this space as a columnist to highlight things that are relevant and interesting. I am blessed in radio, particularly, to work for a station and have a network of stations that give me the freedom to do that. Kelly Graves and Scott Rueck run programs that are wonderful success stories. No way am I ignoring that.
Answer: Staffing… is probably the easy answer. I like what the Hops are doing. The organization is well run and the games are a blast for families. I think the City of Hillsboro’s investment in the sports complex is a game changer. I have plans for a cool column on a Hops’ star player in the coming weeks.
“Would love to know which players in the draft really LOVE basketball and which are just talented.” — @ISH1031
Answer: I’ll bet the GMs would love to know that, too. It would be a wonderful marker of success in the league, I’ll bet. Polygraph tests in the NBA Draft green room next year?
“What should realistic expectations of Pac-12 Conference be regarding college football? Expansion fees unlikely considering the lack of research universities in the footprint that would bring a television market. I’m of the opinion that 1 in 4 years of putting a team into the the playoff isn’t a bad goal. Just don’t spend $ to compete.” — @eastboundfitzn
Answer: Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff made it a point early in his tenure to publicly urge the conference universities to invest in football. Also, he’s been aggressive in labeling the current playoff model (really a four-team “invitational”) a “broken system.” You’re right — the Pac-12 doesn't have attractive expansion options. The conference can only attack this problem by investing more heavily in football and changing the system. They’d like to participate every year.
“Your columns have been non-stop. In your new endeavor, are you going to give yourself a vacation and away from writing and your column just to refresh your mind and soul?” — Bay Area Fan
Answer: I try to squeeze in one “off” day a week. Candidly, I’ve found that difficult lately because I always have something to say. I’ll take a little time to exhale before college football season, but I love connecting with readers. It was important to me, especially out of the gate, to give subscribers every bit of what I could give them. Also, I wanted to let my loyal readers know I am not going away. I’m right here. I’m having a blast and writing with joy. I’ll bet you can tell.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all who have supported, subscribed and shared my new independent endeavor with friends and family in recent months. If you haven’t already — please consider subscribing.