Who deserves to be in the HOF more, Rick or Dale Murphy?
I know he'll never get in, but I thought it was worth asking.
Excellent question. He, of course, is talking about Rick Honeycutt, who joined us on Press Row earlier this week after announcing he's stepping away from pitching-coach duties with the Dodgers.
Honeycutt would be the first to admit that Dale Murphy was a much better player.
And I may be in the minority of Southern dudes my age (I turned 49 two weeks ago) who does not think Murphy is a Hall of Famer. He's a Hall of Great — back-to-back MVPs, multiple Gold Gloves, one of the best in the game for a five-year stretch are his pros; his career average (a .265 career hitter) and a career WAR between Matt Williams and Mark Grace are definite cons — but not Hall of Fame in my mind.
And because Alan Trammel and Harold 'Bleepin' Baines have been inducted does not change that. That would just keep magnifying the lower standards and mistakes being made.
Honeycutt's candidacy would be about long-time contributions to the game.
He has to be on the shortlist of all-timers who gave the most time in the game.
He was a player for 21 seasons — from 1977 to 1997 — and was a two-time all-star. He pitched in 30 postseason games and never took a playoff loss. He took the 1998 season away from baseball before joining the Dodgers as a minor-league pitching instructor in 1999, and worked his way to pitching coach in 2006, a job he held until last week.
So since early in the Carter administration, Rick Honeycutt has been a regular and at times great contributor to professional baseball.
From a slew of you
What do you make of Patrick Mahomes' injury and will this be the end of the QB sneak?
First, it's pretty amazing the number of star QBs who have been hurt this year.
Mahomes. Brees. Cam. Big Ben. Plus some other starters across the league. (Side note: How is the most durable star QB in this weekly collection of car-wrecks Tom Brady, who's 249 years old?)
The number of QBs capable of delivering has increased, and that's great for the league.
But the narrative that the sneak is done or even dumb is false.
Name the last QB you can remember being hurt on that play? We'll wait.
And man, the overreaction on that tangent has been quick and striking.
From Matt H
I have followed your NFL 'advice' since early in the preseason. I even took the under in Denver-KC after what you said on the radio (Thursday).
To that I say thanks.
I have given most of the proceeds back, though, on your college picks — which I used early and then a couple of weeks ago started going opposite. (The numbers my guy had last week had you 5-2 rather than 3-2-2 and I went the other way on all of your picks.)
Can you be more consistent please?
Uh, I'll try? Here's the thing, friends — do you think I want to miss these?
Of course not.
Which brings us to this week's NFL picks. (Side note: Before we get to the picks, it's hard to believe that we are in a place that the Buffalo Bills are a 17-point favorite over anyone. Wow.)
I did say under 49 last night, but I did not put it in the Thursday 5-at-10, so win or no, it's not official.
New Orleans plus-3.5 over Chicago. We've said it before and we're going to ride it until it's no longer true: Teddy Bridgewater is perfect against the number as a starting QB when his team is an underdog. He's 27-7 career as a starter ATS. And the Saints defense is every bit as good as the Bears' — and never mind that the Saints have the two best offensive players on the field in Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.
L.A. Rams minus-3 over Atlanta. Buy the half, but I got a sneaky suspicion that the Falcons are about to cash their chips. Dan Quinn's seat could not be hotter if he had the devil's La-Z-Boy. The O-Line is dreck. The defense is filled with holes. Plus, the Rams are desperate and the addition of Jalen Ramsey will help counter the Falcons' biggest strength — that'd be Julio Jones.
Minnesota minus-1.5 over Detroit. Detroit is better than most of us expected. Side question: How sneaky great is the NFC North? All four teams are .500 or better. That said, there is no offense more balanced and star-studded everywhere other than QB than these Vikings. Arguably the best WR tandem in the league. Dalvin Cook is a dude and healthy. And the defense is good. That's more than enough.
San Francisco-Washington under 42. This number started north of 43 in some places and is dropping. Hard to see how the 'Skins score in this one, and Washington's one strength is a front seven that could slow the 49ers' running game.
Seattle minus-3 over Baltimore. Another spot to buy the half, and sit back and enjoy this one. The Ravens offensively really miss Hollywood Brown, the rookie from Oklahoma who is as good a deep threat as there is in the league. Lamar Jackson is on pace to rush for 1,200 yards — as a QB. Russell Wilson is on pace to be the MVP. Edge Seahawks, who have arguably the best home-field edge in the game.
Last week: 3-1-1 (75 percent) against the spread.
This season: 30-18-2 (62.5 percent) against the spread.
T or F to you: If you are sitting Mariota, and I agree they should, do you let him go at the end of the season? If so, what do you do with Tannehill, who will be a free agent, and do you look to the draft or do you work the trade market and try to find your QB? Basically, knowing what you know right now, what do the Titans do with their QB situation at the end of this season?
Yes, you have to let him walk now. Or you fire the staff and find a coach who wants to work with Mariota as the franchise guy, because, while Mariota may be too classy to handle this the way some others do, you have to believe that the strain between Mariota and the staff is close to irreparable now, right?
And I think we all agree that neither of those guys is a franchise guy.
Which leads us to a really interesting talking point.
What do the Titans do moving forward?
First, you can't trust the draft history — Jake Locker says hello, too — of this franchise at the most important position.
Second, Miami will be going QB in front of you in the 2020 draft, which means they likely are Tanking for Tua.
That leaves Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jacob Eason or maybe Jake Fromm. Which of those guys do you truly believe in making the transition as a franchise guy in an NFL that is changing before our eyes, as QBs need to be able to move. Quickly.
Plus, there will be a lot of guys out there, potentially. (And truth be told, if the Titans are going to look to build this through the draft, Lose for Lawrence feels safer than Tanking for Tua, in my opinion.)
I'd be tempted to see which veteran is out there — if Carolina cuts ties with Cam Newton, that would be my first call.
But it's pretty clear that neither of the dudes in Nashville is the long-term answer.
Gang, last weekend was, hate-filled. Here are some of them — and there are a slew that are so obscenity-filled we can't repeat them in good faith.
> I feel bad for your wife!
> So you honestly believe this. That's sad. I honestly feel bad that something happened in your life to cause your brain to think like this.
> It is really clear that you lack the ability to empathize with a woman in labor. It's not like running a 5k.
> I'd say you are an idiot.
And then a reply to that one was
> "You spelled [male genitalia] wrong."
> My thought is I feel sorry for this guy's kids.
> Thoughts: your brain is broken and I hope you get some help to reassess things
> Who is this clown??!!
> Congrats you are now less popular than O.J.
> I am saving this Tweet so when your wife divorces your sorry [tuckus] she can show it at the custody hearing.
> (BLEEP) YOU!
Have a great weekend friends.