Mailbox: OHSAA gets it right with expanded playoffs; Cleveland baseball got it wrong
I come to you today with good news and bad news.
The good: We are announcing the return of "The Mailbox," the longstanding popular feature that connects us to our Dispatch sports readers and allows you to be heard.
The bad: Ray Stein, with his wit, wisdom and eloquent conversational style of writing, isn’t here anymore to listen to, respond to and entertain you. (Don't worry, though. Ray is around, happily free of daily deadlines and willing to give me advice.)
As the new guy in charge, I’ll do my best to live up to Ray the Great. So please send your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Here we go …
Editor: Kudos to the OHSAA for expanding the field for football playoffs! More kids get to experience that excitement. More schools can feel their school pride. More communities can rally around their teams, even if only for one more week.
Meanwhile, our brethren at the NCAA have fumbled the ball twice. By liberalizing the transfer rules, they legitimized collegiate free agency with athletes shopping themselves around to the highest bidders. Then they further compounded that by eliminating amateurism with their recent NIL approval. Just watch what happens with recruiting now, along with the rise of sports agents. (Show me the money.)
I have experienced the thrill of playoff football as a coach and also the anguish of missing out when only four teams qualified and we were next in line. As past president of our district athletic board and the state board of control, I have personally observed the excitement that student-athletes, coaches and schools feel when getting a chance to play in the tournaments. While I do not speak for those bodies, I have had the opportunity to witness all sports, both boys and girls, and sense the great pride and exhilaration each athlete, coach, school and community feels.
OHSAA: Hats off to you. You got it right this time! Let the games begin!
Tom Rutan, Grove City
Tom: I agree that expansion is a good thing, and last year's "upset" wins by area football teams that wouldn't have ordinarily made the playoffs shows that. As for NIL, I believe Ohio State players Jack Sawyer, sitting in his free new truck, and Quinn Ewers, counting his cash while sipping on some healthy drink, will disagree.
Cleveland baseball name
Editor: I remember when the Griffiths moved the Washington Senators to Minnesota. Some claimed the owners were so cheap they intended to just turn the "W" around on the uniforms and caps and use it as an "M."
It looks like the Dolans may have heard about this and that's why they are changing the name "Indians" to "Guardians." They can reuse the old uniforms by eliminating the "In" and replacing it with "Guar." They can also reuse the caps by modifying the current "C" to look like a "G." I guess you have to save money any way you can.
Having the second-lowest payroll in the majors while charging major league prices for seats doesn't give them much room to save more in player costs. Only alternative may be to convince Major League Baseball to switch from wooden bats to aluminum bats.
Joe Barmess, Pataskala
Joe: Nicknames are tough, but I was partial to Spiders, if only to see what a cool, creepy mascot the team would have. One offshoot of Guardians is that it not only informed folks that Cleveland has a roller derby team but also employed a bunch of lawyers working on the lawsuits that will come with accusations of name-stealing.
Editor: Baseball coverage is almost nonexistent. Never an article about the games the day before not even box scores. Now even just scores are 2 days old.
Editor: I am a loyal subscriber to The Dispatch since 1979 when I got out of the Air Force. I love baseball and all of the many little statistics that go with it, one of which is seeing the box scores, especially for the Indians and the Reds as well as the local AAA team, the Clippers (although when l was growing up it was the Jets). I am very disappointed that you no longer print the box scores of the games, not even the from the Ohio teams. It really doesn’t take that much space to do these three box scores.
Yes, l know l can go on “online“ and see every box score in the country, BUT, it’s not the same. I am so sick and tired of people telling me that I get all the information in the world “online.” I don’t want my box scores online. l want them in my printed newspaper that I hold in my hand and read as l drink my coffee in the morning.
Is it too much to ask for from a devoted baseball fan, a loyal Dispatch subscriber and a veteran who served during Vietnam to have just three box scores printed?
Jerry, Ross: I'm glad you brought that up, as we get that question a lot. We have given great thought to the issue and certainly see the value as we try our best to give relevant content. Unfortunately, the current deadlines for the print editions are in the afternoon, long before the games begin. Therefore, any box scores we print would be two days old and thus outdated and somewhat confusing given the amount of up-to-the-minute information available. We strive to provide good updates on the Reds and soon-to-be-Guardians and to print a daily update of how the Clippers are doing. And, yes, we have the immediate results and multiple features and columns about those teams on Dispatch.com.
Editor: As Ronald Reagan so famously said …”There you ago again.”
Once again, while chronicling the history of greatness of Columbus sports achievements, Bobby Rahal’s win at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500 in May of 1986, was once again not mentioned. Columbus held a parade in Bobby’s honor, for goodness sake!
I understand that another incredible achievement, that of Jack (Nicklaus) winning the Masters the month before, may have shadowed Bobby’s incredible achievement in the eyes of the Dispatch editors.
But, as Joe Biden so famously said …"C’mon man!"
Tommy O’Shaughnessy, Upper Arlington
Tommy: First off, I'm quite impressed that you reached out to both sides of the political aisle in your use of quotes. You've made both the right and the left happy. Maybe. Also, you clearly know your Columbus sports. And so does the author of the article you mention, Rob Oller. Rahal is indeed a part of the online version of the article, which is longer. With limited print space, Rahal and a few others were cut. I'm sure that's not what you like to hear, but it's the reality of the merging of 150 years of great sports history with print sports sections that are smaller than they used to be.
Editor: I was disappointed to learn that the name of the new Crew stadium will be Lower.com Field. I would have liked a much more positive-sounding name. I don’t believe that naming rights should go automatically to the highest bidder. I wonder if other Dispatch readers feel the same way.
Tom: I'm sure others feel the same way, especially in light of the team's massive struggles since moving homes.
Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at email@example.com.