Mailbox: Baker Mayfield getting a bad rap in this Deshaun Watson mess
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On Baker Mayfield
To the editor: Is Baker Mayfield getting a bad rap on his abilities to be a top franchise quarterback in the NFL? Comments have been made by sports writers and others that the Browns obtaining Deshaun Watson is a definite upgrade at the quarterback position. Are people forgetting that Mayfield has had four head coaches and with that four different offensive systems in his four years in the NFL? Would any quarterback including Deshaun, Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson have gotten any better results than Mayfield if they had been faced with the same constantly changing coaching and system issues that Mayfield has had to endure?
To Jack: As a football player, Watson is a definite upgrade over Mayfield. But with the ugly allegations that come with Watson, it doesn't make sense to sign him and simply dump what is a pretty good, but not great, quarterback.
On college basketball
To the editor: Whenever we get to March Madness, some of the pundits start discussing conferences and not teams. Once a conference tournament ends, its teams are no longer interconnected. The fact that a school from the Big Ten has not won a national championship since 2000 means nothing. Once the NCAA tournament is seeded, we have 68 teams vying for the national championship. Although we started with nine teams for the Big Ten, six teams from the Big 12, three teams from the ACC, etc., it does not matter. Matchups matter. Every game is a one-game win-or-go-home tournament. Some teams get hot. Some teams get cold. But their condition is not caused by the conference from which they came.
Since the ACC had two teams in the Final Four, does that make it the best conference? No. If Michigan State swapped their draw with the draw of North Carolina, would they be in the Final Four? I have no idea. But no matter what, it would not be caused by the conference from which they came. I guess since St. Peter's beat Purdue, they would probably have won the Big Ten.
Mike Kindt, Ashville
To Mike: As our Rob Oller pointed out, it depends on how you measure success. If it is Final Fours, the Big Ten is right near the top, having placed 13 teams into the semifinals since 2000, second to the ACC (16) among six power conferences. But if national titles is the measure, well, only the Pac-12 has gone longer than the Big Ten in winning one. I think the Final Four stat there says plenty about the strength of the Big Ten.
On televised sports
To the Sports Editor: I am a longtime Cincinnati Reds fan. I go way back to Waite Hoyt reading from teletype for out-of-town Reds games. So I watched part of the 2022 opening day game at Atlanta and was brought up to date by today's high-tech greed for glitz and money. First, I was reminded that the National League will use a designated hitter this year, thus violating the intent and spirit of the game by not allowing pitchers to hit (also removing a usually interesting play of bunting with a man on base).
Next, I was treated to a ho-hum interview of the Reds manager while the game was in progress. How can the manager do his job while thinking about what to say on TV? Then, to top it off, the program treats us to an interview with the Reds first baseman — again while the game is being played — and with a baserunner on first. This is insane!
So to sum it up, I suppose sports programming is thinking that it promotes the game involved and sells more of something if a player, manager or coach is interviewed during the game. At least in basketball they wait until timeout or halftime. Oh, for the days of no facial hair and Reds being properly rewarded for being the oldest team by playing the opening game at home.
Don Denton, Westerville
To Don: Young sports fans are losing interest in baseball, so MLB is reacting. Bringing DH consistency and putting a mic on guys like Joey Votto are good steps in making it more interesting. Oh, and I agree that the Reds should always be home for the season opener.