Observations from the Upper Deck

1854908It’s March and while most thoughts are on college basketball, there’s a little more abuzz. Thoughts on the Milwaukee Bucks, Pete Rose, and a couple more.

The Milwaukee Bucks decided to fire coach Terry Stotts only in his second year as the head of the team. Owner Herb Kohl wasn’t satisfied with their record and you can’t blame Stotts for this one. One doesn’t need to look any further than injuries to key players like Andrew Bogut, Michael Redd, Charlie Villaneuva and a few others to help complicate matters.

Kohl and general manager Larry Harris moved quickly and promoted assistant coach Larry Krystowiak to the head job with a multi-year contract. Krystowiak spent five years with the Bucks in his nine year NBA career and joined the Bucks this season after coaching the University of Montana the previous two. Krystowiak had been rumored to be the lead candidate for the University of Utah job and the Bucks wanted to make sure they didn’t lose him.

Funny how things go down there. Herb Kohl has wondered why it is he can’t win games. Four years ago, he hired Milwaukee native and 16 year journeyman Terry Porter to come home and coach the team he grew up watching and never played for. Out goes Porter and in comes Terry Stotts.

Kohl needs to look to the west to see how things should be done. He is living in the shadow of former Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig. Selig never wanted to open up the checkbook to keep key players. 1993 anyone? Long-time fan favorite Paul Molitor leaves the team he dedicated his entire career to since the Selig family didn’t want to give him the money he was worth. Now that Mark Attanaiso has bought the team, he hasn’t been afraid to give the players some money and fairly long-term contracts to keep them in Brew Town and build a winner.

Instead, what has Kohl done? About 11 years ago, he decided to give the University of Wisconsin a $25 million donation to help build a new dual function basketball and hockey arena to bring student-athletes to Madison and play for the University. Why didn’t he keep that money in Milwaukee? Hard to say, but he should have been taking care of the team he owns. If you don’t care about making your franchise profitable, put it on the market and get someone in there who cares to bring a championship back to Milwaukee for the first time in over 30 years.

Charlie Hustle, also known as Pete Rose, has publicly stated that he bet on “every Reds” game during his career. Much has been debated if Rose should or should not be in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

If you go by statistics, he would be a first ballot Hall of Famer, besting Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. Since he decided to admit to betting on baseball, his own team much less, many have said he should be banned from the sport he loved and played better than so many.

Many baseball people are saying, if you ban Rose from the Hall for gambling, why shouldn’t we be banning players who admit to using steroids or are allegedly being accused of using from the Hall. It’s a tough issue and one that needs to be talked about. Mark McGwire was not a first ballot selection this past year and during the talks in front of Congress in 2005 he didn’t say one way or another if he used during his career. This from the man who hit 49 home runs in his rookie year and was the first to break Roger Maris’ home run record for a season with 70.

Are there others in that may have done something “crafty” to make their performance better? Of course. Pitchers and many others alike have seemed to do things to make sure they had an edge. Whether it be Vaseline on the baseball cap, nail files in the pocket or corking the bat, players will do whatever they can to get a small leg up on the competition.

Where do we draw the line? We could sit and debate that issue all day and we would never be able to settle on one answer.

The Green Bay Packers are doing a mighty fine job this offseason in making sure they don’t keep any of their key players around for the long haul. Gone are running back Ahman Green, fullback William Henderson and a few others. There have been whispers around Packerland that they are considering (gasp) wide receiver Randy Moss to fill in the two or three slot in the wide receiving corps.

This is the same Randy Moss who decided to give Packers fans a fake “moon” after scoring a touchdown for the Minnesota Vikings a couple seasons ago. He hasn’t been making headlines or doing a whole lot for the Oakland Raiders in his tenure there.

Let’s face it, when Moss is on, he’s ON. When he played for the Vikings, he was a pain in the butt, but he could outright catch the ball and make plays. For him, if he’s around good players and a good quarterback, he does the job, if he isn’t around a good unit, forget it. Time will tell if Moss comes to the Packers and if he does, it’s hard to say what kind of reaction he’ll get up in Titletown.

From the world of the wacky and insane. Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball coach Carol Russell was a little late for tipoff on Monday night. She rushed to the game five hours after giving birth to a baby boy. Talk about dedicated or just plain nuts. Decide for yourself.

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